by Nick Givas
James Murdoch may soon replace Elon Musk as Chairman of Tesla, after he leaves his post as CEO of 21st Century Fox.
Murdoch is set to step aside after Fox completes its deal with Disney. The new Fox will be about one third it’s current size and will sell it’s film, television and international businesses to Disney for $52.4 billion.
Disney will receive Fox’s movie studio, sports networks, FX, The National Geographic channel, Fox’s share of Hulu, Sky of Britain and Star of India.
News broke back on September 29 about Musk’s agreement with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to step down as chairman, following a lawsuit against him. Musk had tweeted that he’d secured funding to privatize the company and violated SEC practices. He will remain Tesla’s CEO.
The SEC accused Musk of willfully trying to hurt short-sellers with his tweet and got him to agree to pay $20 million in fines. Musk refused to admit or deny any of the allegations against him.
Murdoch is a current member of the Tesla board and is an attractive candidate for the position, given his appearance of independence from Tesla’s holdings, according to Financial Times.
Both Tesla and Musk refused to comment when contacted by Financial times but Murdoch remains the lead candidate, according to two people briefed on the discussions.
“The Tesla chairman job is perfect for James,” one of the sources told Financial Times. “He’s working on this fund and will be sitting next to Elon . . . he’s going to get access to so much deal flow.”
Tesla’s independent director, Antonio Gracias is also rumored to be in the running for the job, but is still financially tied to SpaceX and may not be viewed as independent enough to take on the role.
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