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Robyn Denholm to Replace Elon Musk as Tesla Board Chair

Robyn Denholm to Replace Elon Musk as Tesla Board Chair”

She'll work full-time at Tesla, where she has served on the board since 2014.

But upon taking her new role as chairwoman of Tesla, Denholm will step down from her CFO role at Telstra once her six-month notice completes.

Musk has strived to turn Tesla into a profitable, mass-market producer of environmentally friendly electric cars, but his impulsive streak caused him trouble when he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private. This sparked a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) finance regulator in the U.S., who insisted on tighter governance at the pioneering EV vehicle maker. Mr Musk was also obliged to relinquish his role as chairman for three years. "Great respect. Very much look forward to working together", Musk tweeted early on Thursday.

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The appointment of Denholm caps months of turbulence for the company and its stock and investors called for stronger oversight of Musk, whose recent erratic public behavior raised concerns about his ability to steer the company through a rocky phase of growth.

Musk was forced to give up the role as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a lawsuit filed against him for his infamous "funding secured" tweet made in August in regards to taking Tesla private, though he remains CEO of the electric auto manufacturer. It's not clear what convinced her to give up the CFO job at one of the country's most prominent companies for the high-profile task of chairing Tesla. Prior to that she worked at Sun Microsystems and Juniper Networks in Silicon Valley.

"But it does violate the spirit of the settlement, which was to change the culture of the board so there was a check on Musk's worst instincts", he added.

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In a suit, the SEC originally asked the court to ban Musk from acting as an officer or director of any publicly traded company.

"She was there while all of this was going on", said Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware.

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.

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