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Business
08 Nov 2018

Tesla replaces Elon Musk, appoints Robyn Denholm as chairman

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as replacement for Musk

Tesla has appointed 55-year-old Robyn Denholm to chair the board of the company after founder Elon Musk was ousted from the post a month back.

Denholm, who became a director of the carmaker in 2014, will take up her new duties immediately.

Notably, she was one of the two women in Tesla's nine-member board.

Here are the details.

In context

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as replacement for Musk

Denholm promises to help Tesla achieve profitability and sustainability

"I believe in this company, I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value," said Denholm in a statement after her appointment.

Denholm had earlier held senior positions in several reputed firms

Denholm

Denholm had earlier held senior positions in several reputed firms

Apart from being a director of Tesla, Denholm had been serving as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and head of strategy at Australian telecommunications company Telstra Corp.

She will juggle both roles - at Tesla and at Telstra - till the end of her six-month notice period in May.

Denholm had earlier worked in senior positions at Toyota Motor Corp., Sun Microsystems, and Juniper Networks.

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What Musk had to say about Denholm's appointment

"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 Musk, commenting on Denholm's appointment.

Musk

Musk had stepped down in end-September over fraud charges

At the end of September, Elon Musk stepped down as chairman of Tesla, as part of an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which had been investigating him for misleading investors through fraudulent tweets.

Musk was served a three-year ban on serving as chairman, and the SEC further directed Tesla to appoint two independent directors by December this year.

However, Musk remains the CEO.

Denholm's appointment comes at a promising time for Tesla

Tesla

Denholm's appointment comes at a promising time for Tesla

Despite the upheaval, Tesla surprised Wall Street in the third quarter of 2018 by posting a profit of $312mn, after incurring losses for months.

The company also managed to solve some of its manufacturing bottlenecks, thereby resulting in higher deliveries of cars.

With Tesla likely to stay cash-flow positive in the coming quarters, Denholm's appointment, and her vast experience in finance, is likely to come as a welcome boost for the electric carmaker.

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