Tesla has named director Robyn Denholm as board chair, fulfilling a demand by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to strip the job from CEO Elon Musk, Reuters reports.
The appointment was required as part of a September deal Tesla struck with the securities regulator to settle fraud charges against Musk and Tesla.
Denholm, 55, joined Tesla as an independent director in 2014 and is the head of its audit committee.
She was paid almost US$5 million, mainly in stock options, by the company last year, making her the highest remunerated of its board members, according to the report.
Denholm is finance chief at Australian telecoms firm Telstra Corp and previously worked for Toyota in Australia. She will resign from Telstra to take the Tesla role full-time.
Musk, who remains Tesla’s biggest shareholder and is the driving force behind its ambitious plans to reshape electric battery technology and car transport, tweeted his approval of the appointment.
“Would like to thank Robyn for joining the team. Great respect. Very much look forward to working together,” he wrote.
Top proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co had each classified Denholm as an “independent” director of Tesla in reports to the carmaker’s investors earlier this year.
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