Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Tesla said on Thursday that its new board chair replacing Elon Musk will be a technology and automotive industry veteran, Robyn Denholm of Australia's Telstra.

She has only been CFO since October 1 this year, though she joined Telstra in January 2017 as its chief operations officer.

Tesla said Denholm will be serving as chair on a full-time basis.

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

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.

Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm as its chairwoman after Elon Musk was forced to stand down in a boardroom shake-up at the electric carmaker.

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Recent court documents show Ms Denholm was paid $US4.9 million ($7 million) as a Tesla director in 2017, compared with total compensation of $2 million at Telstra previous year.

Tesla had until November 13 to name an independent board chairman under its agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Musk's tweets about taking the company private were fraudulent and that the billionaire should quit as chairman but could retain his role as CEO.

Announcing the appointment, Tesla said in a statement that to "ensure a smooth transition...." Besides Telstra, her previous experience includes Juniper Network, Sun Microsystems and Toyota.

"I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy", Musk said in a statement.

Two days after the lawsuit, Musk reached a settlement with the commission, agreeing to a personal fine of $20 million, a separate $20 million fine by Tesla and his resignation as chair.

Tesla has seen months of turbulence since Musk's infamous tweet. Musk had Musk later backtracked on the tweet, but the damage was done.

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