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Telstra executive Robyn Denholm will replace Elon Musk as chairperson of Tesla’s board

Robyn Denholm | Tesla Website

Tesla on Wednesday announced that Telstra executive Robyn Denholm will replace Elon Musk as chair of the company’s board with immediate effect. Denholm has served on Tesla’s board as an independent director since 2014.

Denholm was working as the chief financial officer and head of strategy at Australian telecommunications company Telstra and will leave after a six-month notice period to focus on Tesla full-time.

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Musk, the company’s chief executive officer, in September agreed to step down as its chairman as part of a settlement with the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission, which had filed a fraud case against him. As part of the agreement, Musk was required to resign as chairman within 45 days. He cannot be re-elected to the position for three years.

The US market regulator had sued Musk for a series of “false and misleading” tweets in August, in which he proposed to take the company private and claimed he had secured funding. The regulator said Musk had not secured the funding, and that the tweets caused Tesla’s stock price to jump by over 6% in a day.

In September, Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned less than a month into the job, Bloombergreported. Later, Gabrielle Toledano, the head of human resources who was on a leave of absence, announced that she would not join the company back.

While serving her notice period at Telstra, Denholm will also temporarily step down as chair of Tesla’s Audit Committee.

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“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.

Musk said Denholm, as a board member, had made significant contributions to the company over the past four years. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy,” he said.

Tesla last month reported its largest quarterly profit in the company’s history, CNBC reported. In the third quarter of 2018, the electric car maker reported about $6.8 billion in revenue and $312 million in profit. The company also generated about $190 million in revenue from sales of regulatory credits.

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