Economy

Tesla names Robyn Denholm as Chairman to replace Elon Musk

Tesla names Robyn Denholm as Chairman to replace Elon Musk

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman.

Australian Robyn Denholm, the chief financial officer at Telstra, will replace Elon Musk as chair of Tesla, the company has announced.

The carmaker last month quieted some critics after it reported a net profit and positive cash flow in the third quarter as higher production volumes of its crucial Model 3 sedan began to pay off, delivering on Musk's promise to turn the company profitable.

Denholm, one of two female directors on the nine-member board, assumes her new position immediately, Tesla said.

He and the company were fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after tweets sent by Musk about plans to take Tesla private were deemed to be fraudulent.

It all started with an August 7 tweet.

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Denholm will leave her role as CFO and head of strategy of Telstra once her six-month notice period with the company is complete, Tesla said late on Wednesday.

"The market reacted to this information and Tesla's stock price quickly traded up", said Stephanie Avakian, the SEC's Co-Director of the Division of Enforcement, in a September news conference. In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk.

Denholm has held leadership roles in both Australia and Silicon Valley, including Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems. "Robyn will continue to provide the necessary focus and time to Telstra during the remainder of her time there, and she will also temporarily step down as Chair of Tesla's Audit Committee until she leaves Telstra". "Great respect. Very much look forward to working together", Musk tweeted on Thursday.

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

"I believe in this company, I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value", Ms Denholm said.

Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC's findings as part of the settlement.


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