Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Tesla sign Image copyright Reuters

Electric car company Tesla has appointed an executive at Australian company Telstra to chair its board.

Robyn Denholm takes over the role from founder Elon Musk, who will remain as Tesla’s chief executive.

Mr Musk agreed to give up the chairmanship last month to resolve claims of fraud brought by US financial regulators.

The settlement requires Tesla to install an independent chairman, among other penalties.

The move scotches reports that James Murdoch might have been appointed to the job.

Tesla has endured a difficult few months, following comments on social media in early August made by the firm’s founder, Elon Musk, suggesting he had “funding secured” for a deal to take Tesla private. Tesla’s shares soared following his comments.

Weeks later, Mr Musk backed away from the plan, citing investor feedback.

US authorities sued Mr Musk for misleading investors and as a result Tesla and Mr Musk were each required to pay a fine of $20m. Mr Musk was also obliged to relinquish his role as chairman for three years.

Ms Denholm has served as a director on Tesla’s board since August 2014. Since January 2017, she has also been chief financial officer of Australian telecoms firm Telstra.

Her appointment is effective immediately. However, she will step down temporarily from her role as chairwoman of Tesla’s Audit Committee until she has worked her six-month notice period at Telstra, the company said.


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