Tesla names Robyn Denholm as Chairman to replace Elon Musk

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle is displayed at the company's showroom in Newport Beach California U.S. on Friday

But his impulsive streak caused him trouble when he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private.

Denholm is now chief financial officer at Australian telecoms operator Telstra Corp Ltd and has been an independent director on Tesla's board since 2014. Tesla's shares soared following his comments.

A statement from Ms Denholm said she believed in Tesla and looked forward "to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value".

Mr Musk and Tesla settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in September after the agency sued for fraud.

U.S. authorities sued the entrepreneur for misleading investors and he and Tesla were each fined $20m.


In the settlement, the SEC pulled back from its demand that Musk, who is synonymous with the Tesla brand, be barred from running Tesla, a sanction that many investors said would be disastrous.

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman. In media interviews he said he often slept on a sofa in the Tesla office and more recently in an online video he briefly smoked marijuana.

Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as its new chairman, replacing Chief Executive Elon Musk as the head of the board. The mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger auto in America, according to the industry analyst Edmunds.

Denholm has been on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014 and has had senior roles at other Silicon Valley technology companies including Juniper Networks, where she was chief financial officer, and Sun Microsystems, as well as Japanese carmaker Toyota.

Tesla Inc said board member Robyn Denholm will replace Elon Musk as its Chair, more than a month after the billionaire had to step down as the electric-car maker's Chair as part of a settlement with United States regulators.

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