Like anyone forced into self-punishment on a deadline, Elon Musk has waited until crunch time to find someone to take over as chairman role at Tesla until he can learn to never tweet.
We thought for a while that Elon might just ignore the SEC's very strongly-worded request that he step aside from the role of Tesla Chairman for a few years, or until he figured out how to not commit securities while trying to make his girlfriend giggle on social media. Whichever came first. At one point, it felt like Elon was going to put on big sunglasses, a fake mustache, speak in a hoary American accent and introduce himself as "Bart Fartberger, the new chairman of Tesla who is definitely not Elon Musk." Then we heard that he had an even worse idea.
But it now appears that Elon will buckle down and comply...sorta.
Tesla’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Robyn Denholm has been appointed as Chair of the Tesla Board, effective immediately. So that she will be able to devote her full attention to the Tesla Chair role, Robyn will be leaving her role as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, once her six-month notice period with Telstra is complete. Robyn will be serving as Tesla Chair on a full-time basis.
Not only did Elon get someone; he got a lady! Take that, social justice warriors! The most decorative power position in modern business is about to be in the hands of a woman...well, in six months, and after Elon gets everything ready for her and then hangs around to help oversee, umm, him.
To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Robyn’s time at Telstra, Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as Chair.
See? It's all gonna be great! Denholm is very qualified for the gig of chairman at an automaker. She's a corporate warrior of the new economy, with an impressive resume that combines years spent inside Toyota with a recent run of big jobs in big tech and telecom. By all accounts, Denholm is a canny operator who knows how to make public companies work, and how cars are made.
We just wonder how those skills and experience will translate to helping run Tesla...
We still say the SEC should have forced Gary Cohn on Tesla.