The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

DETROIT» Aus­tralian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­ec­u­tive Robyn Den­holm brings much-needed fi­nan­cial and auto in­dus­try ex­per­tise to her new role as Tesla’s board chair­woman, but her big­gest chal­lenge is whether she can rein in a CEO with a pro­cliv­ity for mis­be­hav­ior.

Den­holm, who has been a Tesla board mem­ber for nearly five years, was named to the post Wed­nes­day night, re­plac­ing Elon Musk as part of a se­cu­ri­ties fraud set­tle­ment with U.S. govern­ment reg­u­la­tors.

Cor­po­rate gov­er­nance ex­perts say they would have pre­ferred that an out­sider with man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­per­tise be ap­pointed to lead the board, now dom­i­nated by peo­ple with per­sonal and fi­nan­cial ties to Musk, in­clud­ing his brother.

They aren’t sure whether Den­holm was hired just to pla­cate the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion to com­ply with the set­tle­ment or whether she will ac­tu­ally be able to cor­ral the vi­sion­ary but er­ratic Musk, who re­mains CEO.

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