Tesla Names New Chairperson to Replace Elon Musk, and It’s a Lady

Elon Musk has been forced to relinquish the role of Chairman of the Tesla Board and has named an Australian Telecoms Executive as the new appointee.

Her name is Robyn Denholm—and not Murdoch—and until recently, she was the Finance Chief for Australian Telecoms giant, Telstra. She will replace Musk in the top job after he was forced to step down after the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) required it, to resolve issues of fraud over at the California-based electric car manufacturer.

The settlement with the SEC required Tesla to install an independent Chairperson among other penalties, and this announcement firmly scotches earlier reports that James Murdoch was to get the top post.

James Murdoch Rumoured to be Elon Musk’s Replacement as Tesla Chairman.


Since Musk made his rather unfortunate remarks on Twitter about having secured funding for taking Tesla private, the company had endured a difficult few months. After the announcement, the share price had soared but later Musk withdrew his claim, citing feedback from shareholders.

A Single Tweet Can Get You Fired! If It Happened to Elon Musk, It Can Happen to Anyone.


The SEC sued Musk for misleading his investors, and he and the company were both ordered to pay a USD20 million fine, and Musk had to relinquish his role as Chairperson for three years. There were also calls from shareholders for greater oversight, after his somewhat erratic behaviour become public: sleeping on the couch in his office and publicly smoking a joint whilst being interviewed for a podcast were just two of the things that raised eyebrows.

Tesla seems to have turned a corner since these dark times for the company and the manufacturer that had never reported a profit before this has reported a “historic profit”, now that the production problems for its Model 3 have been resolved.

Denholm is already on the board of Tesla so she does have Tesla experience. However, she only recently became the CFO of Telstra in July, where she will have to serve a six-month notice period before she can assume the full-time role over at Tesla.

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