Tesla has announced that the Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) Chief Financial Officer and Head of Strategy, Robyn Denholm will replace Elon Musk as Chair on the Tesla Board.
The move comes after Elon Musk settled fraud charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by agreeing to step down as Chairman following a tweet in which he claimed he could take Tesla private at a substantial premium and that there was “funding secured”.
Elon Musk will remain in his role as CEO of Tesla and Robyn Denholm will take over a full-time role as Chairwoman of Tesla. As a result, she will step down from her role at Telstra after serving her six months’ notice period.
She will also temporarily step down from her existing role as Chair of Tesla’s Audit Committee until she leaves Telstra.
According to Tesla’s announcement, Australian born Robyn Denholm has, “served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014. Her global experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley encompasses leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, and Toyota“.
What did Robyn and Musk have to say?
“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 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,” said Elon Musk. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”
Whilst Telstra have lost an experienced executive, it’s not the worst news for the broader Australian tech industry which will have an ambassador right at the epicenter of one of the most innovative companies in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if Robyn plays a future role in assisting Australian tech companies looking to grow in the US given her deep expertise and experience in both markets.