Robyn Denholm succeeds Elon Musk as new boss of Tesla

by Nilesh Wadhwa 08 Nov 2018

Tesla, the electric vehicle major’s board of directors announced that Robyn Denholm has been appointed as the new Chair of the Tesla Board, effective immediately.

Denholm will be leaving her role as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, once her six-month notice period with Telstra is complete. And will be serving as Tesla Chair on a full-time basis.

To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Denholm’s time at Telstra, Musk will act as a resource to her and provide any support that she requests in her role as the head of the EV company. She will continue to provide the necessary focus and time to Telstra during the remainder of her time there, and will also temporarily step down as chair of Tesla’s Audit Committee until she leaves Telstra.

Denholm has served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014. Tesla says her global experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley encompasses leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, and Sun Microsystems.

She is also credited for leading a team that drove significant increases in Juniper’s revenues, overseeing corporate transformation during her nine-year tenure as Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Her experience also includes numerous finance management roles in the automotive industry while at Toyota.

Denholm said: "I believe in this company, I believe in its mission and I look forward to helping Musk and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value."

Commenting on the decision, Musk said: “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. I look forward to working even more closely with Denholm as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”