Electric car company Tesla has announced the company's new chair; chief financial officer at Telstra Robyn Denholm. Denholm will be leaving her current position with Telstra – Australia's largest telecommunications company – to take on the new role. The announcement was made in a statement released on the company's blog on November 7.
Elon Musk scandalously lost his position as Tesla's chair after he, the Tesla board and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reached a settlement which saw both Tesla and Musk personally pay $20m fines and mandated that Musk step down from his role as chair.
The controversy surrounded a tweet Musk wrote in August 2018: "Am considering taking Tesla Private at $420. Funding secured". This tweet, the SEC claimed, was "false and misleading" as he had not secured funding, nor was the share price he quoted any more than a reference to cannabis culture directed at his girlfriend, pop-singer Grimes.
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Musk is to provide support to the new chair over the duration of her six-month notice period in order to ensure "a smooth transition". Many on social media have praised Tesla's decision to put a woman in the chair position. However, others have commented on whether Tesla has put Telestra in a difficult position by removing the company's CFO.
"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," commented Robyn in the blog post.
Elon also commented on the choice in the same blog post, saying: "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.
"I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy," he added.