March 5, 2019 / 9:24 PM / 5 months ago

Top Tesla shareholder says Musk 'doesn't need to be CEO': Barron's

An advertising screen is seen outside a Tesla showroom, as Tesla announces it would close many stores and its sales would now be online-only around the world, in west London, Britain, March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc’s largest shareholder expressed its support for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, but acknowledged that it was open to a different role for the electric carmaker’s founder and CEO, Barron’s reported on Tuesday.

“We wouldn’t be against him having a different role,” James Anderson, head of global equities for Baillie Gifford & Co, told Barron’s. “I don’t think he needs to be CEO.”

Anderson said Musk was essential to Tesla, but suggested that the company’s founder could play some other role within the company, such as taking on a “chief ideologue” position, according to the report.

Edinburgh-based investment management company Baillie Gifford has a nearly 8 percent stake in the company, according to Refinitiv data.

Both Tesla and Baillie Gifford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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