Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle is displayed at the company's showroom in Newport Beach California U.S. on Friday Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk
| 09 November, 2018, 04:48

Tesla says Denholm will leave Telstra after her six-month notice period with the company is complete.

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. She has broad experience in the automotive and digital sectors, having worked at Toyota, Sun Microsystems and Australian telecoms giant Telstra, whom she joined as CFO only weeks ago.

A Tesla spokeswoman said that Denholm will receive an annual cash retainer of $300,000 and 8,000 stock options annually. She's one of two women on Tesla's nine-person board.

Ceding the role of chairman was a condition of the accord Musk reached with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in September to settle fraud charges related to his tweets on taking the company private.

According to an announcement shared by Tesla, Denholm will serve as the board chairperson on a full-time basis. She will assume the chairman's role immediately, the company said. Musk and Tesla settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September after the US agency sued for fraud. The Tesla board is actively continuing the search to fill those posts.

"The fact that he can remain CEO is very important for the company".


A new chairman could conceivably rein in Musk or adjust Musk's role at the world's most drama-filled electric vehicle maker.

While Tesla is finally starting to make good on Musk's promises on production of the Model 3 sedan, seen as crucial to the company's future, it has lost senior executives for sales, human resources, manufacturing and finance in recent months.

The appointment of Denholm caps months of turbulence for Tesla amid investor demands for stronger oversight.

Tesla has endured a hard few months, following comments on social media in early August made by the firm's founder, Elon Musk, suggesting he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private. The money will go to shareholders who lost money following Musk's tweet.

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.

Even after the settlement was announced, Mr Musk taunted the SEC, calling it the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" before snidely praising it for "doing incredible work".

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