Musk says Murdoch Tesla tilt incorrect

By AAP Newswire

Elon Musk has Tweeted: "This is incorrect" after the Financial Times reported that outgoing Twenty-First Century Fox chief executive James Murdoch was the lead candidate to replace him as Tesla chairman.

Tesla has until November 13 to appoint an independent chairman of the board, part of settlements reached last month between Tesla, Musk and US regulators after Musk tweeted 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 behaviour raised concerns about his ability to steer the money-losing company through a rocky phase of growth.

The US 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 $US420 ($A594) a share, a number that is slang for marijuana.

He tweeted a three-word denial of the Financial Times story, on Wednesday at 4:20pm local time, about six hours after the newspaper's post.

In a vote of confidence for Musk, shareholder T. Rowe Price Group said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it had raised its stake to 10.2 per cent at the end of September from just under 7.0 per cent in June.

The Financial Times cited two people briefed on discussions saying Murdoch was the lead candidate for the job.

Murdoch, already an independent director of Tesla, has signalled he wants the job, the report said.

The son of Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch, he joined Tesla's board last year after years of work with media companies. He has no experience in manufacturing and has never led a company that makes cars or electric vehicles.

Murdoch could not immediately be reached for comment. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Twenty-First Century Fox declined to comment.