Robyn Denholm replaces Elon Musk as Tesla chairman

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle is displayed at the company's showroom in Newport Beach California U.S. on Friday

Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk

Maverick Tesla chair Elon Musk has been replaced after the billionaire had to step down as the electric-car maker's chief more than a month ago.

Denholm only worked as the CFO of Telstra for a month before accepting the position of chairman at Tesla, but she still reportedly plans to stay at the company for another 6 months stating that she plans to devote her attention full time to Tesla once her obligations to Telstra are complete.

Critics of Tesla's board have said members lack independence and are too closely allied with Musk, many through financial deals.

Apart from appointing a new chairman, Tesla was required to appoint two new independent members to its board.

Musk was forced to give up the role as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a lawsuit filed against him for his infamous "funding secured" tweet made in August in regards to taking Tesla private, though he remains CEO of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Her new role at Tesla came largely because of the board's failure to control Musk, especially when he made a surprise announcement over Twitter in August that funding was secured to take Tesla private at US$420 ($621.67) per share.

Mr Musk, Tesla's controversial co-founder, resigned as head of its board in September. It said Musk's tweets about taking the company private were fraudulent and that the billionaire should quit as chairman but could retain his role as CEO.

CHECK OUT: Who should lead Tesla's board after Musk steps down? It's not clear what convinced her to give up the CFO job at one of the country's most prominent companies for the high-profile task of chairing Tesla.

Email messages sent to Denholm Thursday were not immediately returned. It was only the third time that Tesla has posted a quarterly profit in its eight-year history as a public company and the first time in two years. The mid-priced Tesla Model 3 was the fifth bestselling passenger auto in America, according to the industry analyst Edmunds. The money will go to shareholders who lost money following Musk's tweet.

"I think this is the best possible outcome for everyone involved", said Ivan Feinseth of Tigress Financial Partners, who rates Tesla "neutral", who added the SEC's penalty was only a slap on the wrist for Musk.

"Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work".

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