Robyn Denholm is set to become the new chairman of the board of directors at Tesla Inc. She will replace outgoing (and founding) chairman Elon Musk owing to the terms of settlement reached between Musk and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in September this year. Elon Musk came into SEC scrutiny after posting a controversial and speculative tweet that claimed Musk had secured enough funds to take the company completely private. Stock value of Tesla Inc shot up after the tweet, which was devoid of any data-based explanations, yielding more than a billion dollars in Musk’s net worth due to speculative trading.
The inquiry into Musk’s actions as chairman concluded that his behavior was irresponsible and dangerous to rational trading sentiment and towards the company’s ethical obligations. And as an amicable settlement that allows Musk to avoid jail time, he has been asked to step down as the chairman of the board, although he will continue to remain in the board of directors. The board has since then resolved to appoint Robyn Denholm as its new chairman. Denholm has been on the board of Tesla since 2014. Her active role has been as the CFO and Head of strategy at Telstra – a telecommunications company based in Australia. She will be the second chairman in Tesla’s 14-year history.
Some quick facts about Robyn Denholm
- Denholm is 55 years old, and she has served as the chief financial officer and head of strategy at Telstra Corporation – the leading phone company in Australia.
- Denholm was appointed CFO and Strategy Head at Telstra only on October 1 this year. Before this, she served as their COO (chief operations officer).
- Prior to joining Telstra (until January 2017) Robyn Denholm served as the CFO and COO of Juniper Networks – one of the world’s largest networking software firms
- Denholm has also worked for Swiss Robotics and ABB Limited.
- Robyn Denholm was educated at the University of Sydney, where she received a bachelors degree in economics, and at the University of New South Wales, where she studied towards a masters degree in commerce.
- She belongs to the Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)
Andy Penn, current CEO of Telstra, remarked that they are sorry to see Robyn leave Telstra.
“We know that it has become increasingly difficult to balance her responsibilities as Telstra CFO with the increased activity of the Tesla Board.” – Andy Penn (Telstra CEO)