Tesla names new chair­man

Belleville News-Democrat - - News - BY TOM KRISHER

Tesla’s board has named one of its own as chair­man to re­place Elon Musk, com­ply­ing with terms of a fraud set­tle­ment with U.S. se­cu­ri­ties reg­u­la­tors.

The elec­tric car and so­lar panel com­pany’s board on Thurs­day named Aus­tralian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­ec­u­tive Robyn Den­holm as chair­man, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

Den­holm will step down as chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer and strat­egy head at Tel­stra, Aus­tralia’s largest telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany, af­ter a six-month no­tice pe­riod. She’ll work full time at Tesla, where she has served on the board since 2014.

Musk will re­main as Tesla’s chief ex­ec­u­tive as part of the set­tle­ment deal with the U.S. Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion. The U.S. agency filed a law­suit al­leg­ing that Musk duped in­vestors in Au­gust with mis­lead­ing state­ments on Twit­ter about se­cur­ing the fund­ing to take Tesla pri­vate.

The move vaults Den­holm, 55, from rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity into a high­pro­file po­si­tion of try­ing to rein in Musk and man­age a com­pany that is strug­gling to pro­duce ve­hi­cles and make money as it at­tempts to shift the world from fu­el­ing trans­porta­tion with oil to bat­tery­pow­ered elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

“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,” Den­holm said in a state­ment.

Crit­ics of Tesla’s board have said mem­bers lack in­de­pen­dence and are too closely al­lied with Musk, many through fi­nan­cial deals. Musk’s brother, Kim­bal, is one of the mem­bers.

Although Den­holm ap­pears to have fewer ties to Musk than other di­rec­tors, she still was on the board through nu­mer­ous cases of bizarre be­hav­ior by Musk, in­clud­ing his sur­prise tweet to take Tesla pri­vate, smok­ing what looked like mar­i­juana dur­ing a YouTube in­ter­view, and la­bel­ing a British diver a pe­dophile in a dis­pute over the res­cue of Thai youth soc­cer play­ers who were trapped in a cave.

Email mes­sages sent to Den­holm were not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.