SAN FRANCISCO (Nov 17): James Murdoch, a Tesla director, said on Wednesday CEO Elon Musk has in the last few months identified someone as a potential successor to head the electric carmaker.
Murdoch, who did not name the potential successor, was testifying in a trial over Musk's 2018 Tesla pay package.
When a plaintiff's lawyer asked him to confirm that Musk has never identified someone as a potential successor CEO, Murdoch said, "He actually has," adding that happened in the "last few months."
It was not clear how specific the conversation about successor was. When asked about succession plan at Tesla's shareholders meeting in August, Musk said, "I intend to stay with Tesla as long as I can be useful."
He also said "we do have a very talented team here. So I think Tesla would continue to do very well even if I was kidnapped by aliens or went back to my home planet maybe."
Some Tesla investors are worried about Musk's capacity to focus on his role as CEO of the world's most valuable carmaker now that he has been running Twitter Inc after a protracted buyout that he tried to scrap.
On Monday, Musk said he had worked through the night at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters and would keep "working & sleeping here" until the social media platform - which he recently acquired for $44 billion - was fixed.
He said on Wednesday he expected to reduce his time at Twitter and eventually find a new leader to run the social media company.
MONITORING TESLA SITUATION
Murdoch also said Tesla's audit committee is monitoring the Twitter situation, saying that the committee had discussions about having some Tesla engineers do work at Twitter.
"Most of the work my understanding is has been done. It was a short-term deployment," he said, adding the work is "paid for."
"The audit committee has said that, if it is taking away from Tesla work, that's something we also have to be very aware of and that we don't want it to be that way."
He also said Musk asked a few team heads to see if they were people interested in helping Twitter.
Musk earlier in the day acknowledged that some Tesla engineers were assisting in evaluating Twitter's engineering teams, but he said it was on a "voluntary basis" and done "after hours."