Tesla Appoints Robyn Denholm to Replace Elon Musk Chair for The Board

Board member Robyn Denholm will step up as chair effectively immediately Tesla has announced.
Jessica Miley

Tesla has announced that Robyn Denholm has been appointed as Chair of the Tesla Board, effective immediately. Denham will leave her role as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company. 

The experienced businesswoman will undergo a six-month notice period with Telstra before serving as Tesla Chair on a full-time basis. Tesla made the announcement via their website yesterday.

Musk will assist Denholm for 6 months

During the first six-months Denholms tenure Tesla says the former chair and serving CEO, Elon Musk will be available as a resource to the incumbent. Tesla says Denholm will continue to work with Telstra during this period as well. 

Denholm is currently the Chair of Tesla’s Audit Committee a role she will step away from until her initial 6 month notice period is complete. 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. 

Tesla drops Musk as part of Commission deal

Tesla was required to select a new chair of the board as part of a deal between Elon Musk and the Trade and Securities Commission following a tweet that suggested Musk had “funding secured” to take Tesla private. Musk was required to pay the commision 20 million dollars which Tesla also accepted a 20 million dollar fine. 

Last month rumors swirled that James Murdoch had been picked to become chairman of Tesla. However, the suggestion was squashed by Musk who tweeted out a definitive “This is incorrect”. Robyn Denholm has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Sydney and a masters degree in commerce from the University of New South Wales and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. 

She is currently just one of two women on the board of Tesla. “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,” Robyn said in a statement.

“Robyn has extensive experience in both the tech and auto industries, and she has made significant contributions as a Tesla Board member over the past four years in helping us become a profitable company,” said Elon. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”

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