Tesla names board director to replace Musk

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle is displayed at the company's showroom in Newport Beach California U.S. on Friday

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle is displayed at the company's showroom in Newport Beach California U.S. on Friday

Robyn Denholm, the finance chief of Australian telecoms firm Telstra, takes over from the electric vehicle maker's founder, who remains chief executive. Tesla said she will take the full-time role after serving out a six-month notice period, during which she'll step town as chair of Tesla's audit committee.

"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", said Elon. In media interviews he said he often slept on a sofa in the Tesla office and more recently in an online video he briefly smoked marijuana.

Michael Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, further notes that Ms Denholm's track record as a Tesla board member is not necessarily an indication of how she'll be as a chair.

Prior to working at Telstra, Denholm spent seven years at Toyota in Australia, where she was a senior financial manager.

Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as its new chairman, replacing Chief Executive Elon Musk as the head of the board. She will assume the chairman's role immediately, the company said.

As part of Musk's settlement with the SEC, Tesla also is supposed to monitor Twitter posts that he makes if they have to do with company news that could impact the value of investors' shares in the company. For one, Musk was hit with shareholder lawsuits and an SEC investigation over his tweets about taking the company private.

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However, Denholm will have the hard task of of overseeing billionaire Musk who will still be with the firm.

Pressure mounted after a series of spats (often on Twitter), culminating in his post claiming he had secured funding to buy out investors at $420 a share to take Tesla private.

The Tesla Motors Club is one of the largest Tesla forums on the net and has always been a staple of the automaker's fanbase, acting as a community where owners, investors, and window-shoppers of the brand conjugate.

The company had until next week to name the new chairman.

Tesla is searching for two more independent directors. But even after the settlement was announced, Musk taunted the agency, calling it the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" before snidely praising it for "doing incredible work".

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