Tesla direc­tor Denholm to re­place Musk as board chair

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

TESLA said it has ap­pointed Robyn Denholm of the Aus­tralian telecoms com­pany Tel­stra as board direc­tor af­ter Elon Musk re­signed from the post. The ap­point­ment of Denholm, who is Tel­stra’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, is ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately but she will serve out her six-month no­tice pe­riod with her cur­rent em­ployer, Tesla said in a state­ment late Wed­nes­day. Denholm had al­ready served as a mem­ber of the Tesla board since 2014. Musk re­signed as Tesla chair­man in Oc­to­ber un­der an ar­range­ment with U.S. reg­u­la­tors to set­tle fraud charges stem­ming from a tweet in which he said he planned to take the com­pany pri­vate and had fi­nanc­ing to do it. Un­der that set­tle­ment he and Tesla each had to pay a $20 mil­lion fine but Musk was al­lowed to stay on as CEO. Musk will help ease the new board direc­tor’s tran­si­tion, Tesla said.

“To en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion dur­ing the re­main­der of Robyn’s time at Tel­stra, Elon will be a re­source to Robyn and pro­vide any sup­port that she re­quests in her role as chair,” the state­ment from the elec­tric car-maker said.

Be­sides Tel­stra, Denholm has worked in other tech com­pa­nies such as Ju­niper Net­works and Sun Mi­crosys­tems, and she also worked for Toy­ota, the state­ment added.

“Robyn has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in both the tech and auto in­dus­tries, and she has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions as a Tesla Board mem­ber over the past four years in help­ing us be­come a prof­itable com­pany,” the state­ment quotes Musk as say­ing. The U.S. Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion (SEC) had charged Musk with se­cu­ri­ties fraud, al­leg­ing that he mis­led in­vestors when he tweeted on Aug. 7 that he had “fund­ing se­cured” to pri­va­tize the elec­tric au­tomaker at $420 a share, a sub­stan­tial premium over its share price at the time.

The tweet was one of a num­ber of pub­lic state­ments by Musk that raised ques­tions in the in­dus­try about his apt­ness to lead the com­pany. Days af­ter set­tling with the SEC over the now fa­mous tweet, Musk turned around and mocked the agency, in an­other tweet.

“Just want to that the Short­seller En­rich­ment Com­mis­sion is do­ing in­cred­i­ble work. And the name change is so on point!” Musk said.

That al­luded to short­sellers, in­vestors who have bet that Tesla shares will fall and who are fre­quently the sub­ject of Musk’s de­ri­sion.

Elon Musk

Robyn Denholm

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