Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

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Musk's successor, effective immediately, will be Robyn Denholm, a former Tesla board member and technology executive.

Musk stepped down as Tesla chair in late September as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stemming from a tweet that US authorities alleged had misled investors.

USA authorities sued the entrepreneur for misleading investors and he and Tesla were each fined $20m.

A Tesla spokesman said Ms Denholm would receive an annual cash retainer of $300,000, with $8000 in stock options annually.

The electric vehicle company said today in a statement that Denholm will leave Telstra after a six-month notice period with Australia's biggest telecoms company.

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The settlement required Tesla and Mr Musk to pay a fine of $20 million each and for Mr Musk to give up his chairman role for three years.

Ms Denholm, who has spent four years on Tesla's board, is chief financial officer and head of strategy at Telstra, Australia's biggest telecommunications company.

"The fact that he can remain CEO is very important for the company".

"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 statement from the electric car-maker said. Besides Telstra, her previous experience includes Juniper Network, Sun Microsystems and Toyota. "I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy".

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.

The tweet was one of a number of public statements by Musk that raised questions in the industry about his aptness to lead the company.

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