×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tesla Names Telstra’s Robyn Denholm Chair, Passing Over James Murdoch

James Murdoch was reportedly the front-runner to be named chairman of Tesla’s board to replace Elon Musk — but the electric-vehicle maker has steered in a different direction.

Late Wednesday, Tesla announced that it has appointed board member Robyn Denholm, CFO and head of strategy at Australian telecom provider Telstra, as its chair effective immediately. Denholm, who has served on Tesla’s board since, 2014 will exit Telstra after a six-month period to serve as Tesla’s chair full-time.

Musk in September agreed to step down as chairman of Tesla for three years as part of an SEC settlement over a securities-fraud case, after the tech mogul’s Aug. 7 tweet claiming that he had “funding secured” for a buyout of the tech company at $420 per share. Under the SEC agreement, Tesla also must appoint two additional independent directors.

Last month, the Financial Times reported that James Murdoch, currently 21st Century Fox’s CEO and a member of Tesla’s board, was the leading candidate to become chairman of Tesla. Musk, in response to the report, had tweeted, “This is incorrect.”

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

Denholm has held management roles at various technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems. She also held multiple finance-management roles while working at Toyota. As part of her appointment as Tesla’s chair, Denholm will temporarily step down as chair of the board’s audit committee until she leaves Telstra.

In a statement, Denholm said, “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.”

FT’s report last month about Murdoch being the top candidate for the Tesla chair seat also said “external options were still being considered.” Murdoch will not join his father, Rupert Murdoch, and his brother Lachlan at “New Fox,” the company that will remain after 21CF’s sale of assets to Disney is completed. In addition, James Murdoch stepped down as chairman of Sky following its sale to Comcast.

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content