Tesla names Den­holm as board chair

The Korea Times - - WORLD - (Reuters)

Tesla has named di­rec­tor Robyn Den­holm as board chair, ful­fill­ing a de­mand by the U.S. Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion to strip the job from Elon Musk, the elec­tric car maker’s way­ward chief ex­ec­u­tive who has dragged the com­pany through months of tur­bu­lence.

The ap­point­ment was re­quired as part of a Septem­ber deal Tesla struck with the se­cu­ri­ties reg­u­la­tor to set­tle fraud charges against Musk and Tesla. Le­gal ex­perts said it was un­clear if Den­holm, who has been on Tesla’s board for four years, was in­de­pen­dent enough for Tesla to com­ply with the court-ap­proved set­tle­ment.

Den­holm, 55, joined Tesla as an in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor in 2014 and is the head of its au­dit com­mit­tee. She was paid al­most $5 mil­lion, mainly in stock op­tions, by the com­pany last year, mak­ing her the high­est re­mu­ner­ated of its board mem­bers.

She is fi­nance chief at Aus­tralian tele­coms firm Tel­stra and pre­vi­ously worked for Toy­ota in Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to her LinkedIn pro­file. She will re­sign from Tel­stra to take the Tesla role full-time.

Whether she is in­de­pen­dent enough to rein in pub­lic out­bursts by Musk — who mocked the SEC as the “Short­seller En­rich­ment Com­mis­sion” on Twit­ter af­ter the fraud charge set­tle­ment — is an open ques­tion.

Den­holm sat on the board when Musk set pro­duc­tion tar­gets for the Model 3 car that were not met, and also when the chief ex­ec­u­tive tweeted that he had se­cured fund­ing to take Tesla pri­vate, which prompted the SEC to file fraud charges against him.

Elon Musk

Robyn Den­holm

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