Murdoch's emergence as the front-runner for the Tesla chairman seat is a turnabout, after he was targeted for removal from Tesla's board as an independent director earlier this year by several proxy adviser groups pushing against his re-election. (TSLA) and the electric auto maker's CEO Elon Musk have reaffirmed that they are happy with the terms of their previously agreed settlement and have urged a federal judge to get it approved as soon as possible.
Coincidentally or not, the response came at 4:20 pm PDT (the time zone of Tesla's Palo Alto, California HQ). Glass Lewis specifically warned that Murdoch already serves on too many boards, if he is chosen to succeed Musk there may be some board members unhappy with the decision. His brother Lachlan Murdoch will become CEO of "New Fox".
In addition to the monetary penalties, the settlement requires Musk to resign from his role as chairman of the board at Palo Alto, Calif. -based Tesla and "comply with mandatory procedures to be adopted by Tesla concerning the oversight and approval of his Tesla-related public statements", according to the filing. Just six months ago, James was rumored to be starting a venture capital fund. Tesla has to pay a separate $20 million fine, which the SEC said will be returned to investors.
Tesla faces a crucial moment as it struggles to produce its Model 3 sedan in large volume and deliver it quickly to customers amid an ongoing cash crunch that has concerned some analysts.
Neither Tesla nor Musk admitted wrongdoing under the settlement, which was reached two days after the regulator sued the billionaire over his tweeted claims to have had the funding and investor support to buy out stockholders at $420 a share.
The stock has sold off more recently in no small part thanks to Musk's tweets in August about taking the company private.