Elon Musk, the eccentric & iconic chairman of Tesla, is set to step down as chairman of the board of directors, after a run-in with the US securities regulators. Musk will be replaced by Robyn Denholm, who is currently CFO and head of strategy at Australian telecommunications company Telstra.
Denholm is currently serving her six-month notice period at the Australian firm. Elon Musk has been chairman of Tesla for 14 years, ever since the first funding of the electric carmaker. He has had to step down as part of a settlement against fraud charges related to his tweets on taking Tesla private a few months ago.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
However, Musk will still remain on the Tesla board as a director. Denholm has been a director on Tesla’s board since 2014 as well.
The deal could remove one cloud that hangs over Tesla. Ever since that tweet investors fretted about the company's ability to cope without Musk, a charismatic entrepreneur whose penchant for coming up with revolutionary ideas has drawn comparisons to one of Silicon Valley’s most revered visionaries, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
As part of the settlement, Musk has to agree to a three-year ban from serving as chairperson. And the company will add two new independent directors on the board by December.
In addition, there will also be a permanent committee to ensure implementation of the terms of the SEC settlement. This includes the setting up of procedures and controls to oversee Musk’s communications. All his tweets will be monitored from now on. Tesla will also get a securities lawyer to review messages that its senior management send out over social media, especially Twitter.
(Inputs from Agencies)
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