Tesla picks Robyn Denholm to replace Musk as chairperson

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

She will take on the full-time role at Tesla after serving a six-month notice period at the Australian firm.

As part of Musk's settlement with the SEC, Tesla also is supposed to monitor Twitter posts that he makes if they have to do with company news.

The tweet was one of a number of public statements by Musk that raised questions in the industry about his aptness to lead the company.

The announcement comes ahead of a November 13 deadline that was part of Musk's settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to end claims he misled investors.

It all started with an August 7 tweet.

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

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That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman.

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 previous year.

The spokeswoman also said Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors. In the meantime, she'll work closely with Musk. She will temporarily step down as chair of Tesla's audit committee until she leaves Telstra, the company said.

"I look forward to helping Elon and the Tesla team achieve sustainable profitability and drive long-term shareholder value", she said in the statement.

Before moving to Telstra, she worked for Silicon Valley firms Sun Microsystems and Juniper Networks as well as consultants Arthur Anderson and Toyota. "Great respect. Very much look forward to working together", Musk tweeted on Thursday.

In the settlement, the SEC pulled back from its demand that Musk, who is synonymous with the Tesla brand, be barred from running Tesla, a sanction that many investors said would be disastrous. 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.

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