Tesla announces Elon Musk's replacement as board chair: Robyn Denholm

Alicia Cross
November 9, 2018

The 55-year-old will be leaving Telstra once her six-month notice period is complete and will also temporarily step down as chair of Tesla's audit committee.

Board member Robyn Denholm was named as Tesla chair late on Wednesday. Besides Telstra, her previous experience includes Juniper Network, Sun Microsystems and Toyota.

"She was there while all of this was going on", said Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware.

A new chairman could conceivably rein in Musk or adjust Musk's role at the world's most drama-filled electric vehicle maker.

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 shares rose slightly to $349.34 in premarket trading. The Australian telecommunications executive will assume the role immediately, the company announced this morning. Denholm has been working with Telstra for two years, during which she has received borne media scrutiny about her ability to manage her time between the Australian and North American company.

On Twitter Thursday morning Musk wrote that he has great respect for Denholm.

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Tesla says Robyn Denholm of Australia's Telstra has been appointed as chair of its board, replacing company co-founder Elon Musk.

Despite the scandals, Tesla made a profit of $312m in the third quarter, well ahead of Wall Street forecasts, with revenues of $6.8bn.

A big jump in Tesla's output of its mass-market Model 3 vehicle powered the breakthrough. The aim is to provide stronger oversight to match Tesla's growing stature and market value.

It's hard not to feel sorry for Musk, who as a genius tech entrepreneur is probably not used to bowing down to authority.

Tesla's conflict with the SEC began in August, when Musk tweeted that he was taking the auto company private and had "funding secured" at $420 a share.

A union-affiliated investor group and officials representing major pension funds in four states have called on Tesla to go beyond the terms of the SEC settlement to fix its corporate governance issues.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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