Robyn Denholm to replace Elon Musk as Tesla chair

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

Ms Denholm is now Chief Financial Officer at Australian biggest telecoms company, Telstra, and already sits on the board of Telsa as an independent director.

Denholm, one of two female directors on the nine-member board, assumes her new position immediately, Tesla said.

In the settlement, the SEC pulled back from its demand that Musk, who is synonymous with the Tesla brand, be barred from running Tesla, a sanction that many investors said would be disastrous.

Mr Musk agreed to give up the chairmanship last month to resolve claims of fraud brought by United States financial regulators.

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman.

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

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The announcement comes after Musk was ousted as board chair in September as part of a settlement with the SEC, which filed a lawsuit against him following an August tweet in which he said he was considering taking the company private, surprising investors, analysts and the board.

The settlement required Tesla and Musk to pay a fine of $20 million United States each and for Musk to give up his chairman role for three years. Tesla's shares soared following his comments.

Musk cited Denholm's long experience in the tech and auto industries as strong advantages and said in a statement that he looked forward to working with her.

Tesla says Denholm will leave Telstra after her six-month notice period with the company is complete.

Besides Telstra, Denholm has worked in other tech companies such as Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems, and she also worked for Toyota, the statement added.

"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", it quoted her saying.

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