Tesla picks Robyn Denholm to replace mercurial Musk as board chair

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Tesla Board Chair Robyn Denholm

Following Elon Musk’s run-in with regulators and investors, Tesla has chosen Robyn Denholm as Chair of the company’s board with immediate effect. Robyn Denholm is one of two women on the nine-member board of Tesla. She will relinquish her post as CFO and head of Strategy for Australian based Telecommunication Company Telstra Corp after serving six-month notice period. Elon Musk will remain as CEO of world’s most famous electric vehicle manufacturer will act as resource to Denholm to ensure smooth transition. This appointment marks an end of Elon Musk reign at the Tesla when he led with $7.5 million investment in the year 2004.

Elon Musk agreed to step down from the post of Chairman of Tesla after series of infamous tweets talking ability taking the company private. US Securities and Exchange Commission banned him for three years from serving as chair and also imposed $20 million fine. Musk and Tesla further agreed to add two new independent directors to the board by the end of December. Robyn Denholm has been acting as CFO for little over a month and she plans to devote full-time as Tesla Chair when her outstanding obligations with Telstra are completed. She won’t be taking another job.

Appointment of Robyn Denholm may come as surprise for many, but she is involved in Silicon Valley and in Australia with big companies. Apart from Telstra, she worked in Toyota Motor Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. Some critics are hugely upbeat regarding the appointment as she has been part of the Elon’s team for quite some team now and she might not be able to quash his’ worst instincts. Hence, SEC settlement is just eyewash and failed to address the issue.

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