Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Australian Chosen To Replace Elon Musk As Tesla Chairman

Australian Chosen To Replace Elon Musk As Tesla Chairman

Denholm, a Tesla ($TSLA) board member, will leave her job as chief financial officer of Telstra, an Australian telco giant and inherit Musk's chairman duties full-time in six months when her notice period is complete, the company said in a statement.

Under the settlement, Tesla also is required to appoint two new independent directors, and it must review the sometimes-erratic Musk's posts about the company on Twitter.

Denholm previously held executive roles at Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems and Toyota.

A Tesla spokeswoman said Denholm would receive an annual cash retainer of $300,000 and 8,000 stock options annually. She was paid nearly $5 million, mainly in stock options, by the company previous year, making her the highest remunerated of its board members. Since January 2017, she has also been chief financial officer of Australian telecoms firm Telstra.

Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as its new chairman, replacing Chief Executive Elon Musk as the head of the board.

United States authorities sued Mr Musk for misleading investors and as a result Tesla and Mr Musk were each required to pay a fine of $20m.

However, Denholm will have the hard task of of overseeing billionaire Musk who will still be with the firm.

On Twitter Thursday morning, Musk wrote that he has great respect for Denholm. It was only the third time that Tesla has posted a quarterly profit in its eight-year history as a public company and the first time in two years.

Denholm, who has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Sydney and a master's degree in commerce from the University of New South Wales, has worked in senior roles for a number of technology companies.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters on September 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, Cal. The mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger auto in America, according to the industry analyst Edmunds. The aim is to provide stronger oversight to match Tesla's growing stature and market value. However, the suggestion was squashed by Musk who tweeted out a definitive "This is incorrect".

Top proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co had each classified Denholm as an "independent" director of Tesla in reports to the carmaker's investors earlier this year.

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