Telstra CFO hangs up, plugs in as new Tesla chair

2018 Model X sits on display outside a Tesla showroom in Littleton Colo. Elon Musk???s murky future as Tesla Motors??? CEO amid a securities fraud lawsuit isn???t the only cloud hanging over the electric car make

A 2018 Tesla Model X

Making Denholm a full-time chair also creates governance problems because she could become a Tesla executive, blurring her role as an independent check on management, Elson said.

Tesla announced Denholm's appointment weeks after the Financial Times reported that James Murdoch, who also sits on Tesla's board, was the frontrunner.

Ms Denholm will leave her role as CFO and head of strategy at Telstra once her six-month notice period with the company is complete, Tesla said in a statement.

"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".

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

U.S. authorities sued Mr Musk for misleading investors and as a result Tesla and Mr Musk were each required to pay a fine of $20m. 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.

Tesla's board, which includes Musk's brother Kimbal, has long come under fire from corporate governance experts for lacking independence and being comprised of Musk loyalists.

Denholm is now the Chair of Tesla's Audit Committee a role she will step away from until her initial 6 month notice period is complete.

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Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm as its chairwoman after Elon Musk was forced to stand down in a boardroom shake-up at the electric carmaker.

Email messages sent to Denholm Thursday were not immediately returned.

Tesla earned a $311.5 million net profit during the third-quarter, delivering the first step of a promise from Musk to post sustainable profits.

A big jump in Tesla's output of its mass-market Model 3 vehicle powered the breakthrough.

Denholm's appointment is expected to cap months of turbulence for the company.

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.

That alluded to shortsellers, investors who have bet that Tesla shares will fall and who are frequently the subject of Musk´s derision.

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