Outgoing Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday dismissed the reports that Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Chief Executive James Murdoch is the most likely candidate that will replace Elon Musk as Tesla Inc chairman.
The Financial Times reported on Wednesday about Murdoch’s possible takeover, but Musk in a tweeted reply to the newspaper said, “This is incorrect.”
According to Reuters, Tesla has until November 13 to appoint an independent chairman of the board, part of settlements reached last month between Tesla, Musk and U.S. regulators in the wake of Musk tweeting in August that he had secured funding to take the electric car maker private.
The SEC settlement capped months of debate and some investor calls for stronger oversight of Musk, whose recent erratic public behavior raised concerns about his ability to steer the money-losing company through a rocky phase of growth.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Musk’s tweeted statements about going private were fraudulent, allowed the billionaire to retain his role as CEO while requiring he give up his chairmanship.
Musk had said he was considering taking Tesla private at a price of $420 a share, a number that is slang for marijuana. He tweeted the three-word denial of the Financial Times story, on Wednesday at 4:20 pm PT (2320 GMT), about six hours after the newspaper’s post.
In a vote of confidence for Musk, shareholder T. Rowe Price Group Inc said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it had raised its stake by nearly half to 10.2 percent at the end of September from just under 7 percent in June.
The Financial Times cited two people briefed on discussions saying Murdoch was the lead candidate for the job.