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Tesla taps Robyn Denholm of Australia's Telstra to replace Elon Musk as chair

Denholm has extensive experience in both the tech and auto industries
Tesla showroom
Tesla is an electric-car maker

Tesla Inc’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) board of directors has announced the appointment of Robyn Denholm as the new chair of the company to replace Elon Musk, who remains as Tesla's CEO, according to a filing wih the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Denholm is the CFO and head of strategy at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, and will join Tesla once her six-month notice period with Telstra is complete. She will be the full-time chair of Tesla.

“I believe in this company, I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Elon (Musk) and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value,” Denholm said.

“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,” said Musk. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”

READ: US judge approves Elon Musk's settlement with SEC over his Tesla go-private tweet

Musk left the position of chair as part of a plea deal with the SEC to settle a lawsuit filed by the government over his go-private plan that he announced in a tweet in early August. Musk said he will take the electric carmaker private and that funding had been "secured."

The plan was later abandoned, and Musk was accused of misleading investors, prompting the lawsuit by the SEC.

"To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Robyn’s time at Telstra, Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair," the filing by the company said.

Denholm served on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014.

Her global experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley encompasses leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, and Sun Microsystems. She is widely credited with leading a team that drove significant increases in Juniper’s revenues, overseeing Juniper’s corporate transformation during her nine-year tenure as Chief Financial and Operations Officer, the filing said.

Her experience also includes numerous finance management roles in the automotive industry while at Toyota, it added.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected]

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