Tesla replaces Elon Musk, names Telstra executive Robyn Denholm as chairperson

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a press conference at SpaceX headquarters on September 17, 2018 in Hawthorne, Cal.

Tesla had until November 13 to name an independent board chairman under its agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said Musk's tweets about taking the company private were fraudulent and that the billionaire should quit as chairman but could retain his role as CEO.

Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm as its chairwoman after Elon Musk was forced to stand down in a boardroom shake-up at the electric carmaker.

The tweets sent shares in Tesla soaring to a high of $387.46 a share on August 7. Musk and Tesla settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September after the US agency sued for fraud.

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

The spokeswoman also said Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors. "We allege that he had not even discussed key deal terms including price with any potential source of funding".

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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.

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

Musk cited Denholm's long experience in the tech and auto industries as strong advantages and said in a statement that he looked forward to working with her.

Tesla said she would leave her current job as chief financial officer at Australian telecoms firm Telstra in six months - after serving her notice period - to become its chairman full time. In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk.

Denholm said: "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". "Robyn will continue to provide the necessary focus and time to Telstra during the remainder of her time there, and she will also temporarily step down as Chair of Tesla's Audit Committee until she leaves Telstra".

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