James Murdoch to succeed Musk as Tesla chairman?

06 October, 2018, 09:57 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Wil James Murdoch be the new Chairman of Tesla?

Tesla CEO Musk may have settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over that August tweet claiming he had the funds to take his electric vehicle company private, but that hasn't stopped the eccentric billionaire from tweeting.

"Just want to (sic) that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work".

The SEC has responded by denying any plans for a name change, but won't be drawn on the content of the Tweet.

Peter Henning, a Wayne State law professor who was formerly an SEC attorney, said: "It certainly shows his pique at having to settle".

The SEC had alleged that Musk did not have the estimated $25-50bn needed to make that deal happen.

Musk also dragged BlackRock Inc. into his long-running dispute with short sellers, claiming that the fund manager was reaping heavy profits by lending shares they hold to this group of investors.

Shares in Tesla closed down 4.4%, and fell further in after hours trading following Mr Musk's tweet.

Einhorn's assessment of the Tesla CEO's motives should be taken with a grain of salt, however - he and Musk have battled each other through Musk's tweets and Greenlight's investment letters. "Maybe a 420M fine would have been more appropriate?" one Twitter follower said.


As part of the settlement, Tesla executives are meant to monitor Musk's posts in the interest of the company and investors.

Tesla investors will be watching and hoping that the additional information provided in the letter will be enough for the judge to approve the settlement.

While the board has not engaged in any "serious" discussions of who should be the chairman, some members of Tesla's board of directors have proposed 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch take over the role of chairman following Elon Musk's settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "If he doesn't want to put that deal at risk, he ought to pay attention to cars instead of Twitter".

Have a Tesla news tip?

Coincidentally or not, Musk's mocking tweet came about 15 minutes after the closing bell, making it less likely to be accused of violating regulations on corporate communications.

But in 2014, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Rakoff's rejection of a $285 million SEC settlement with Citigroup Inc, saying he should have given "significant deference" to the regulator.

"He'll blame the board for taking him out, or the SEC for derailing his genius", Sonnenfeld said.

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