Tesla names new independent chairman as part of SEC deal

Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Mr Musk and Tesla settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in September after the agency sued for fraud.

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman.

Tesla said it has appointed Robyn Denholm of the Australian telecoms company Telstra as board director after Elon Musk resigned from the post.

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

Tesla has endured a hard few months, following comments on social media in early August made by the firm's founder, Elon Musk, suggesting he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private.

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

It all started with an August 7 tweet.

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Denholm takes over as Tesla's chair immediately and will leave her role as CFO and head of strategy at Telstra once her six-month notice period with the company is complete, Tesla said on Wednesday.

The spokeswoman added that Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors. In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk.

Before moving to Telstra, she worked for Silicon Valley firms Sun Microsystems and Juniper Networks as well as consultants Arthur Anderson and Toyota.

"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", Mr Musk said in a statement. "Great respect. Very much look forward to working together", Musk tweeted on Thursday.

"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", Tesla said in a news release.

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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