After Elon Musk stepped down as chairman of his electric car company, Tesla, in September, the question of who would replace him became a pretty big one, particularly for shareholders. That person has today been named as Australian executive, Robyn Denholm.
It’s a pretty big deal given Musk has been the face of Tesla since he founded the company in 2003, but it’s also great to see an Aussie woman at the helm of one of the most innovative ventures of the last decade.
Denholm has been kicking around as the CFO of Telstra and will be serving her six-month notice period there, but has been appointed as Chair of the Tesla Board, “effective immediately,” the company said in its announcement.
“So that she will be able to devote her full attention to the Tesla Chair role, Robyn 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. Robyn will be serving as Tesla Chair on a full-time basis.”
Denholm has served as a director at Tesla since 2014 and has been a significant force in making the company profitable during her time as a member of the Board, Musk said. “I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy,” he added.
“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,” Denholm said in a statement.
With degrees in commerce and economics, Denholm has experience in both the tech and automotive industries, making her a pretty great candidate for the role. She worked at Toyota Australia for seven years and did stints at Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems.
Musk resigned as part of a settlement deal with the SEC, who busted old mate for a bung tweet about taking the company private, which broke a bunch of rules.
A big congratulations to Robyn, who will no doubt kill it as chairwoman of Tesla.