Tesla names Robyn Denholm as its new chairwoman, replacing Elon Musk

Andrew Cummings
November 8, 2018

The experienced businesswoman will undergo a six-month notice period with Telstra before serving as Tesla Chair on a full-time basis.

Robyn Denholm, Telstra's chief financial officer and head of strategy, has been named to head the company's board with immediate effect late Wednesday, the automaker said in a statement posted to its blog.

Announcing the appointment, Tesla said in a statement that to "ensure a smooth transition...." As part of a settlement with US regulators over the case, Musk agreed to vacate his post as board chairman.

Tesla has appointed a new chairman as part of founder Elon Musk's deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following his tweeted announcements that he was going to take the company private. Musk and Tesla settled with the US SEC in September after the agency sued for fraud. Tesla is searching for two more independent directors.


Denholm is now the Chair of Tesla's Audit Committee a role she will step away from until her initial 6 month notice period is complete. Musk's brother, Kimbal, is one of the members.

The carmaker last month quieted some critics after it reported a net profit and positive cash flow in the third quarter as higher production volumes of its crucial Model 3 sedan began to pay off, delivering on Musk's promise to turn the company profitable.

Tesla says Robyn Denholm, a member of its current board, is to replace Elon Musk as chairman after the billionaire was forced to give up his dual role.

Email messages sent to Denholm Thursday were not immediately returned.


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

As part of Musk's settlement with the SEC, Tesla also has to monitor his Twitter posts if they relate to the firm.

Musk, whose name is virtually inseparable from Tesla, has an impulsive streak that caused trouble when he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private at $420 per share when no such deal had been worked out.

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


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