Tesla replaces Elon Musk, names Telstra executive Robyn Denholm as chairperson

Marco Green
November 8, 2018

Robyn Denholm takes over the role from founder Elon Musk, who will remain as Tesla's chief executive.

Mr Musk agreed to step down as chair last month to resolve claims of fraud brought by U.S. financial regulators.

Tesla has weathered a rocky few months in the wake of Mr Musk's tweets that he had "funding secured" for a deal, later scuttled, to take Tesla private.

Tesla announced that Elon Musk's replacement as its chair will be Robyn Denholm, now chief financial officer at Australian telecommunications operator Telstra.

Its shares soared following his comments but weeks later Mr Musk backed away from the plan, blaming feedback from shareholders.

Investors had also called for stronger oversight of Mr Musk after his erratic behaviour attracted attention.

The settlement required Tesla and Mr Musk to pay a fine of $20 million each and for Mr Musk to give up his chairman role for three years. Tesla is searching for two more independent directors.

Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as its new chairman, replacing Chief Executive Elon Musk as the head of the board.

Tesla, which has never reported an annual profit, also came under strain over production schedules for its Model 3 electric vehicle, its newest auto aimed at a wider market.

She will also be leaving her role as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company, after a six-month notice period there, to focus on her work as Tesla chair full-time, the company said in a statement.

The carmaker last month quieted some critics after it reported a net profit, positive cash flow and wider-than-expected margins in the third quarter, delivering on Musk's promise to turn the company profitable. She also has worked at various technology companies including Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems and held finance management posts at Toyota Motor Corp.in Australia.

She will temporarily step down as chair of Tesla's audit committee until she leaves Telstra, the company said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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