Tesla names Telstra executive as new chairwoman

Tesla names Telstra executive as new chairwoman

Tesla says that in order to ensure a smooth transition during that time, "Elon Musk will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair".

The announcement comes ahead of a November 13 deadline that was part of Musk's settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to end claims he misled investors.

The settlement requires Tesla to install an independent chairman, among other penalties.

In addition to agreeing to a three-year ban from serving in the job, Musk and Tesla agreed that the company would add two new independent directors to the board by late December.

According to Tesla, she will leave the Australian telco at the end of her six-month notice period. Musk and Tesla settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September after the USA agency sued for fraud.

Critics of Tesla's board have said members lack independence and are too closely allied with Musk, many through financial deals.

"She was there while all of this was going on", said Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware. 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.

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Denholm has been chief financial officer and head of strategy at Telstra, Australia's former telephone monopoly, since the start of October.

Tesla shares were up 1.4 percent in morning trading.

Under that settlement he and Tesla each had to pay a $20 million fine but Musk was allowed to stay on as CEO. Since it went public in 2010, Tesla has posted a profit in only two quarters: once in 2013 and again in 2016.

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

In the settlement, the SEC pulled back from its demand that Musk, who is synonymous with the Tesla brand, be barred from running Tesla, a sanction that many investors said would be disastrous.

Tesla's conflict with the SEC began in August, when Musk tweeted that he was taking the auto company private and had "funding secured" at $420 a share.

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