Tesla names new independent chairman as part of SEC deal

Dwayne Harmon
November 9, 2018

Under the SEC settlement, Musk can't return as chairman for three years, and only with a shareholder vote.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.

Musk did not comment about the move on Twitter, but he did laud his colleague in a company statement.

"Musk, I believe has a ton to do with the selection and he wants to be sure that they can see eye-to-eye", said Elazar Capital analyst Chaim Siegel. A spokesperson at the company told CNBC that Denholm will receive 8,000 stock options each year and a cash retainer of $300,000 once she leaves Telstra. She was the first woman to join the board of nine, which includes Musk and his brother, Kimbal. She will assume the chairman's role immediately, the company said.

"You really have got to wonder", he said. Beyond the tweet, he implied that a rescue diver in Thailand was a pedophile and waged a public battle with the stock's short-sellers-all while ramping up the company's manufacturing operations.

The tweets sent shares in Tesla soaring to a high of $387.46 a share on August 7.

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An Australian, Denholm is Telstra's chief financial officer and head of strategy and already has served on Tesla's board as an independent director.

Denholm is no stranger to the machinations of Silicon Valley. She's a corporate warrior of the new economy, with an impressive resume that combines years spent inside Toyota with a recent run of big jobs in big tech and telecom. Ltd., Australia's largest telecommunications company.

On Twitter, Mr Musk wrote that he had great respect for Ms Denholm. "I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy".

Tesla earned a US$311.5 million net profit during the third-quarter. The mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger auto in America, according to the industry analyst Edmunds. The SEC settlement required the new chair to be an independent director. The aim is to provide stronger oversight to match Tesla's growing stature and market value.

Inquiries to the automaker by Automotive News have prompted Tesla to deny Musk's involvement in the account, responding with a simple "No."The Drive's own inquiries have ushered the same response".

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged the billionaire had not secured funding and accused him of picking the price, a reference to marijuana, to impress his girlfriend.

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