Elon Musk: James Murdoch Is Not Top Candidate for Tesla Chairman

October 11, 2018, 7:34 PM UTC

Elon Musk tweeted a reply to a Financial Times report stating James Murdoch is the lead choice for Tesla’s new chairman, saying, “This is incorrect.”

The report, which cites “two people briefed on the discussions,” says Murdoch is the top candidate, although outside options are still being considered. Murdoch currently serves as a non-executive director of Tesla.

The electric car company has until Nov. 13 to choose a new independent chairman of its board. Musk, while he remains in his role as CEO, agreed to step down as chairman following a lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC accused Musk of misleading investors when he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private in August. The resulting settlement, reached earlier this month, requires Musk and Tesla to each pay a $20 million fine. Tesla must also choose a new chairman.

FT reports Musk favors Tesla’s lead independent director, Antonio Gracias, to replace him as chair, but Gracias may not be independent enough due to his investments in Musk’s companies.

Murdoch, however, has expressed interest in the job, FT reports. He’s currently the CEO of 21st Century Fox, but will allegedly step down from his role once Walt Disney purchases the media group’s entertainment assets.

Murdoch also previously chaired European pay-TV company Sky, but stepped down Tuesday following its purchase by Comcast Corp.