Telstra CFO Robyn Denholm has resigned from the telco after accepting the role of chairman with the Tesla Board effective from 13 November 2018.

Denholm has been a member of the electric car maker’s board since 2014 and replaces founder and CEO Elon Musk as chairman.

In September Musk agreed to step down as chairman as part of a settlement with in SEC after claims he mislead investors.

robyn-denholm
Robyn Denholm, newly appoint chair of Tesla

But Dehnam won’t be taking on the role full time until 6 May 2019, once she serves out her six-month notice period with Telstra. In the meantime, Musk “will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair”.

So she can continue to focus on her duties at Telstra, Denham will also temporarily step down as chair of Tesla’s audit committee until she leaves the telco.

“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,” Deham said.

Denham has held leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, and Sun Microsystems. Her experience also includes numerous finance management roles in the automotive industry while at Toyota.

“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.

“I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”

Denham joined Telstra in January 2017 as chief operations officer and has been in the role of CFO since 1 October 2018.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn said Denholm would continue in her role with Telstra for her six-month notice period with her final date of employment being 6 May 2019.

“We are sorry to see Robyn leave Telstra. We know that it has become increasingly difficult to balance her responsibilities as Telstra CFO with the increased activity of the Tesla Board,” Penn said.

Penn said Telstra is undertaking a search for a new chief financial officer and will provide an update on a replacement appointment as soon as possible.

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