Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Tesla names Robyn Denholm as new chairwoman to replace Elon Musk

Tesla names Robyn Denholm as new chairwoman 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.

Tesla has plumped for an inside appointment to succeed Elon Musk as its next board chair.

Musk agreed to an independent chairman being appointed as part of a settlement with United States regulators that allowed him to remain chief executive.

Musk stepped down as Tesla chair in late September as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stemming from a tweet that US authorities alleged had misled investors.

She has been a member of the board at Tesla since 2014 and will have the task of overseeing Musk who remains as CEO.

Tesla says Denholm will leave Telstra after her six-month notice period with the company is complete.

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A Tesla spokesman said Ms Denholm would receive an annual cash retainer of $300,000, with $8000 in stock options annually.

"She's from Musk's inner circle and is unlikely to put obstacles in the way of decisions", Schwope said.

Tesla shares were up 1.4 percent in morning trading.

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. 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. (JNPR) and in a range of executive positions at Sun Microsystems, Toyota (TM) and Arthur Andersen & Co., before becoming CFO and head of strategy at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company.

Tesla has endured a hard few months, following comments Mr Musk made on social media in early August suggesting he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private. The aim is to provide stronger oversight to match Tesla's growing stature and market value.

The tech whiz Musk is also facing legal action from British diver Vernon Unsworth, who helped to rescue a football team of Thai boys when they became trapped in a cave, by falsely accusing him on Twitter of being a pedophile.

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