Tesla replaces Elon Musk, names Telstra executive Robyn Denholm as chairperson

Tesla replaces Elon Musk, names Telstra executive Robyn Denholm as chairperson

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla said Robyn Denholm, now chief financial officer (CFO) at Australian telecom operator Telstra Corp Ltd, will replace Elon Musk as its chair.

Denholm takes over as Tesla's chair immediately and will leave her role as CFO and head of strategy at Telstra once her six-month notice period with the company is complete, Tesla said late on Wednesday. She worked at Toyota Australia for seven years and did stints at Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems. Tesla says that in order to ensure a smooth transition during that time, "Elon Musk will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair".

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

Michael Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, further notes that Ms Denholm's track record as a Tesla board member is not necessarily an indication of how she'll be as a chair. Ltd., Australia's largest telecommunications company.

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Mr Musk, Tesla's controversial co-founder, resigned as head of its board in September.

Inquiries to the automaker by Automotive News have prompted Tesla to deny Musk's involvement in the account, responding with a simple "No."The Drive's own inquiries have ushered the same response".

On Twitter Thursday morning, Musk wrote that he has great respect for Denholm. For one, Musk was hit with shareholder lawsuits and an SEC investigation over his tweets about taking the company private. And the SEC is still a factor - Tesla received a subpoena last week from the SEC concerning Model 3 production forecasts in 2017, according to The Verge.

Apart from appointing a new chairman under the settlement, Tesla was required to appoint two new independent members to its board.

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The appointment of Denholm caps months of turbulence for Tesla amid investor demands for stronger oversight. Musk had Musk later backtracked on the tweet, but the damage was done.

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.

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

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