Tesla overlooks James Murdoch for chairman role vacated by Elon Musk

Tesla overlooks James Murdoch for chairman role vacated by Elon Musk

Denholm will leave her role as CFO and head of strategy at Telstra once her six-month notice period with the company is complete, Tesla said late on Wednesday.

Mr Musk and Tesla settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in September after the agency sued for fraud.

Tesla has endured a hard few months, following comments Mr Musk made on social media in early August suggesting he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private.

Tesla, which has never reported an annual profit, also came under strain over production schedules for its Model 3 electric auto, its newest vehicle aimed at a wider market.

The tweets sent shares in Tesla soaring to a high of $387.46 a share on August 7.

Recent court documents show Ms Denholm was paid $US4.9 million ($7 million) as a Tesla director in 2017, compared with total compensation of $2 million at Telstra past year.

Last month Tesla and Musk were both fined $20 million over the tweets in which he claimed he was taking the company private at $420 a share, which the SEC alleges was a number chosen as a joke with his singer girlfriend, Grimes, who introduced him to marijuana.

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Tesla announced Denholm's appointment weeks after the Financial Times reported that James Murdoch, who also sits on Tesla's board, was the frontrunner. In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk.

She also has worked at various technology companies including Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems and held finance management posts at Toyota Motor Corp.in Australia.

Electric vehicle company Tesla has appointed an executive at Australian company Telstra to chair its board. "Great respect. Very much look forward to working together", Musk tweeted on Thursday.

"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", Ms Denholm said.

Investors had also called for stronger oversight of Mr Musk after his erratic behaviour attracted attention.

Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC's findings as part of the settlement.

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