Tesla replaces Elon Musk as chair-he’ll stay CEO

Eileen GuzmanNov 08, 2018

Denholm, who has only been in the Telstra CFO job for a little more than a month, said she plans to devote herself full time to Tesla when her obligations to the Melbourne-based telecommunications company are complete.

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

"To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Robyn's time at Telstra, Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair".

Musk agreed to vacate his post as board chairman as part of a settlement with USA regulators of a lawsuit alleging he duped investors with misleading statements about a proposed buyout of the company.

Musk stepping down from the role of chairman of Tesla was part of the deal he made with the SEC to settle claims that he mislead investors by tweeting that he had secured investment to take Tesla private.

The appointment marks the end of an era for Musk, 47, who became chairman when he led a $7.5 million initial investment in Tesla in April 2004. Tesla's shares soared following his comments. Musk's brother, Kimbal, is one of the members.

The financial regulator accused Musk of fraud and misleading investors, and fined him and the company $20m each.

Denholm had already served as a member of the Tesla board since 2014.

Twenty-First Century Fox Chief Executive, James Murdoch, who also sits on the Tesla board, was tipped to succeed Musk before today's announcement was made.

Denholm is no stranger to Silicon Valley: She's had senior roles at companies including Juniper Networks, where she was chief financial officer, and Sun Microsystems, as well as seven years at Toyota back home in Australia.

Email messages sent to Denholm Thursday were not immediately returned. The mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger auto in America, according to the industry analyst Edmunds.

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

Denholm's appointment is expected to cap months of turbulence for the company.

As part of Musk's settlement with the SEC, Tesla also has to monitor his Twitter posts if they relate to the firm.

"Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work".

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