Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk denied a report in the Financial Times that James Murdoch is poised to replace him as chairman, prolonging the uncertainty over leadership at the electric-car maker after a deal with the U.S. securities regulator.
Murdoch, the CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and a Tesla board member, is the lead candidate for the job, the Financial Times said, citing two people briefed on the discussions.
The newspaper is wrong, Musk tweeted in response, without elaborating.
"This is incorrect," Musk wrote.
Musk must relinquish his role as chairman under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his tweeting, which left open the possibility that the carmaker could appoint an existing independent director. Tesla and the SEC made a submission, asking the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to accept the deal, according to a court filing Thursday.
The settlement with the SEC was reached two days after the regulator sued the billionaire over tweeted claims he had the funding and investor support to buy out stockholders at $420 a share. Musk got to keep his job as CEO and stay on the board, but has to relinquish the post of chairman and can’t be re-elected to the role for three years. Musk and Tesla were also each fined $20 million.
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