Recently Elon Musk was asked to step down from the chairman position of Tesla. After this, the board of directors of Tesla chose a new chairman for the electric car company. Taking the position of Elon Musk will be Robyn Denholm who was holding the position of the Chief Financial Officer for the company Telstra. Telstra is a telecommunications company based in Australia.

Robyn Denholm has a six month notice period in Telstra following which she will join the electric car company. It is to be noted that Denholm is also a member of Tesla’s board. In order to assist with the transition of Denholm from Telstra to Tesla, Elon Musk promised to assist her and support her in all ways. 

Why Elon Musk Stepped Down?

Elon Musk was asked to step down from the Chairman position of Tesla following charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This was brought forth earlier this year in addition to a $20 million fine which is to be paid by Musk. In exchange for this deal, Elon Musk was allowed to continue the CEO position for the company he founded.

Earlier this year, Musk sent a tweet announcing that the company is becoming private. This, however, did not happen. The capital commitments that the company Tesla had according to Elon Musk, did receive accusations and allegations. Following all this, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk for fraud allegations.  In the deal made with SEC, Elon agreed to step down from the position of Chairman of Tesla for a period of three years.

Apart from this, the company also agreed to bring in two independent directors who will be new to the firm. Their role will also include overseeing Musk’s communications. The tweet which was sent out by Elon Musk was accused of misleading the investors. This was because from the tweet it was assumed that Tesla will be going private with $420 for a share. This also led to an artificial increase in the stock prices all of a sudden even before the funding was received.

Coming down to a settlement with the SEC, Elon will not be allowed to hold the Chairman’s position for another three years, however, he is still permitted as a board member. With the company burning down the cash reserve and seeking immediate relief in terms of balancing the financial charts, the appointment of Denholm seems to have a positive effect. The view from the analysts is that they want to see the company become profitable on a standard regular balanced scale as opposed to spikes every few years. Having experience in corporate finance, Denholm is expected to bring forth this.


Robyn Denholm

Who is Robyn Denholm?

Robyn Denholm currently holds the position of Chief Financial officer in Telstra. She was promoted to this position only a month ago. Denholm holds a degree in economics from the University of Sydney. A while later, she went back to school and did her master’s in commerce from the University of New South Wales which is in Australia. She is keen on bringing the next generation of talent. As a matter of fact, Denholm is into mentoring too.

In a television interview, she mentioned that she used to spend considerable time with people who were talented and interested to perform for various organizations that she worked with. She believes she started mentoring even before the term became popular.  She also said that the mentorship of CEO’s in the next generation is vital.

Right from the year 2014, Denholm holds the head position of the Tesla’s audit committee. All throughout these years she has been facing the storm and handling the rocky finances of the company. This, however, will only get more tedious with the chairman position.

She has been with the Australian telecommunications company Telstra from the period of January 2017 where she started as the Chief Operating Officer. In this time period, she even overlooked a team which was responsible for the cut down of 8000 jobs as a part of the cost-cutting effort. Before joining Telstra, Denholm was a non-executive director as well as a member of the finance and audit committee for the Swiss company ABB. She also has experience working for Toyota as Australia finance manager for a period of seven years.