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Telstra CFO hangs up, plugs in as new Tesla chair

09 November, 2018, 04:47 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

After Elon Musk stepped down as chairman of his electric vehicle company, Tesla, in September, the question of who would replace him became a pretty big one, particularly for shareholders. The 55-year-old will be leaving Telstra once her six-month notice period is complete and will also temporarily step down as chair of Tesla's audit committee.

Prior to her appointment, she has served as an independent board director prior to since 2014, Tesla added.

Denholm has held leadership roles in both Australia and Silicon Valley, including Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems.

Denholm said: "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".

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

Apart from appointing a new chairman, Tesla was required to appoint two new independent members to its board. Since January 2017, she has also been chief financial officer of Australian telecoms firm Telstra.

Her new role at Tesla came largely because of the board's failure to control Musk, especially when he made a surprise announcement over Twitter in August that funding was secured to take Tesla private at US$420 ($621.67) per share.

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Interestingly, another Australian, James Murdoch, son of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was rumored for the chairman role at Tesla.

Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC's findings as part of the settlement.

Tesla earned a $311.5 million net profit during the third-quarter, delivering the first step of a promise from Musk to post sustainable profits. However, the suggestion was squashed by Musk who tweeted out a definitive "This is incorrect".

Musk is being replaced as part of an SEC settlement for the CEO's infamous and expensive "funding secured" tweet.

While Tesla is finally starting to make good on Musk's promises on production of the Model 3 sedan, seen as crucial to the company's future, it has lost senior executives for sales, human resources, manufacturing and finance in recent months.

The spokeswoman also said Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors.

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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