Robyn Denholm the new chairperson of Tesla

Tesla has picked one of their board of directors as the new chairperson of the company. Robyn Denholm will be replacing the founder of the electric car company, Elon Musk.

Background

Tesla is an American automaker founded in 2003 by Elon Musk. It specializes in electric cars, lithium-ion battery energy storage and more. It is predominantly known for manufacturing luxury electric cars.

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit accusing Tesla boss Elon Musk of securities fraud. The US financial regulator says Mr Musk's claims that he had secured funding to take the electric carmaker private were "false and misleading".

Elon Musk agreed to leave the role as he was under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla as they have reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve securities fraud charges. The settlement had forced Mr Musk to step aside as chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

Analysis

Ms Robyn Denholm is currently the chief financial officer of Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company. She has now been appointed effective immediately as the new chairperson of Tesla. She is also one of two women on the board of Tesla.

Elon Musk said in a statement: “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.”

Ms Denholm has experience of working in the US and Australia across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems.

In a statement, Tesla added: “To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Robyn’s time at Telstra, Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair.”

Assessment

Our assessment is that the appointment of an independent board member who has served the company long should make both the investors and SEC happy. We believe Tesla needs to appoint two more independent board members who will have to be voted on by shareholders.