Telstra executive Robyn Denholm quits to be 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's found a new chair of its board to replace Elon Musk.

Tesla announced Denholm's appointment weeks after the Financial Times reported that James Murdoch, who also sits on Tesla's board, was the frontrunner.

Musk resigned as Tesla chairman in October under an arrangement with USA regulators to settle fraud charges stemming from a tweet in which he said he planned to take the company private and had financing to do it.

United States authorities sued the entrepreneur for misleading investors and he and Tesla were each fined $20m.

Musk said: "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".

The electric vehicle company said today in a statement that Denholm will leave Telstra after a six-month notice period with Australia's biggest telecoms company.

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The spokeswoman also said Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors.

Denholm is now chief financial officer at Australian telecoms operator Telstra Corp Ltd and has been an independent director on Tesla's nine-member board since 2014.

"The fact that he can remain CEO is very important for the company". In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk. She was appointed as Telstra's CFO in July.

Ms Denholm has served on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014 and has also worked in Silicon Valley and for companies including Toyota.

Tesla has seen months of turbulence since Musk's infamous tweet.

"I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value", she said in the statement. Its stock has fluctuated, and many investors have called for the company to exercise more oversight over its CEO, who has received media attention for his unconventional ways. Musk later tweeted that this was "incorrect".

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