Denholm replaces Musk as Tesla board chairperson

Lloyd Doyle
November 8, 2018

Tesla had until November 13 to name an independent board chairman under the settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Musk's tweets about taking the company private were fraudulent and that the billionaire could retain his role as CEO but should quit as chairman.

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

The announcement scotches reports that James Murdoch was the frontrunner for the job.

But his impulsive streak caused him trouble when he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private. Tesla's shares soared following his comments.

USA authorities sued the entrepreneur for misleading investors and he and Tesla were each fined $20m. Mr Musk was also obliged to relinquish his role as chairman for three years.

It will become full-time once she leaves her role as chief financial officer and head of strategy at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company, after her six-month notice period.

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.

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

Tesla, which has never reported an annual profit, also came under strain over production schedules for its Model 3 electric vehicle, its newest auto aimed at a wider market. However, the carmaker made what Mr Musk called an "historic" profit in the most recent quarter.

She has been on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014 and previously worked at Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems and Toyota.

"I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value", she said in the statement.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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