Thursday, 15 November, 2018


Telstra executive Robyn Denholm quits to be Tesla chairman

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Conrad Doyle | 08 November, 2018, 18:43

Tesla has endured a hard few months, following comments on social media in early August made by the firm's founder, Elon Musk, suggesting he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private.

Tesla said she would leave her current job as chief financial officer at Australian telecoms firm Telstra in six months - after serving her notice period - to become its chairman full time.

Tesla said Ms Denholm, who is already chair of Tesla's audit committee, will step down from that role when she leaves Telstra.

Ms Denholm, who has also has worked at various technology companies including Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems and Toyota Motor Corp in Australia, said in a statement: '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'.

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.

The task is not entirely new for Denholm; she's served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014.

Now playing: Watch this: SEC sues Elon Musk for securities fraud over misleading.

Tesla's board, which includes Musk's brother Kimbal, has long come under fire from corporate governance experts for lacking independence and being comprised of Musk loyalists.

The company had until next week to name the new chairman.

Under the settlement, Tesla also is required to appoint two new independent directors, and it must review the sometimes-erratic Musk's posts about the company on Twitter.

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman. It was only the third time that Tesla has posted a quarterly profit in its eight-year history as a public company and the first time in two years.

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

Musk smoked pot while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience in September and called the SEC the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" in an October tweet, after their settlement.

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