Telstra executive Robyn Denholm quits to be Tesla chairman

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

Telstra executive Robyn Denholm quits to be Tesla chairman

Tesla has appointed a new chairman as part of founder Elon Musk's deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following his tweeted announcements that he was going to take the company private.

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

The SEC accused him of manipulating the market and sued him in late September for making "false and misleading" statements to investors.

The spokeswoman added that Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors.

Mr Musk was also obliged to relinquish his role as chairman for three years.

The carmaker last month quieted some critics after it reported a net profit and positive cash flow in the third quarter as higher production volumes of its crucial Model 3 sedan began to pay off, delivering on Musk's promise to turn the company profitable. In a suit, the SEC originally asked the court to ban Musk from acting as an officer or director of any publicly traded company.

Denholm had already served as a member of the Tesla board since 2014.

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Recent court documents show Ms Denholm was paid $US4.9 million ($7 million) as a Tesla director in 2017, compared with total compensation of $2 million at Telstra a year ago.

Telstra said she would be leaving her CFO role in the coming months.

"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", Denholm said according to a statement issued by the vehicle maker.

Electric vehicle company Tesla has appointed an executive at Australian company Telstra to chair its board.

She also has worked at various technology companies including Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems and held finance management posts at Toyota Motor Australia.

'I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy'.

The appointment of Denholm caps months of turbulence for Tesla amid investor demands for stronger oversight.

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