Robyn Denholm: The New Board Chair Of Tesla Motors

By Annie Baker ● November 9, 2018

Robyn Denholm became part of Tesla Motors’ board of directors in 2014, but now she will have a much more active role at the automaker company. And to further comply with an SEC settlement, Tesla Motors still has to hire two more independent directors.

Denholm’s advantage is her business expertise, which brings balance to the company as CEO Elon Musk has been making questionable decisions, especially on social media. Denholm is currently the Chief Financial Officer at an Australian telecommunications company called Telstra. Previously, she was the Chief Operations Officer at Telstra. Earlier this week, she said that her next move is to focus solely as the chair of Tesla.


Photo: Robyn Denholm / Tesla Motors

“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 Musk in a statement. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”

Denholm also previously worked for Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems. And Denholm is credited with leading a team that drove significant increases in Juniper’s revenue as she oversaw the company’s transformation during a nine-year tenure as the chief financial officer and chief operations officer. Plus she also served in several other finance management roles in the auto industry while working for Toyota.

A number of analysts are critiquing this move because they believe Tesla Motors should have brought in a board chair who was from outside the company. This is because analysts are holding Tesla’s board accountable for Musk’s behavior on social media.

The SEC recently brought fraud charges against Tesla and Musk following a series of his tweets and ultimately made a settlement where Musk would pay a heavy fine and step down as chair. One of the most controversial tweets that Musk wrote was about how Tesla secured funding to take the company private.