Denholm replaces Musk as Tesla board chairperson

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

Robyn Denholm has been an independent director at Tesla since 2014

The settlement requires Tesla to install an independent chairman, among other penalties.

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

Tesla announced that Elon Musk's replacement as its chair will be Robyn Denholm, now chief financial officer at Australian telecommunications operator Telstra.

The announcement scotches reports that James Murdoch was the frontrunner for the job.

Tesla has named a new chair to replace Elon Musk, after the CEO agreed to step down from the company's board as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Its shares soared following his comments but weeks later Mr Musk backed away from the plan, blaming feedback from shareholders.

Musk said: "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".

USA authorities sued the entrepreneur for misleading investors and he and Tesla were each fined $20m.

Telstra said she would be leaving her CFO role in the coming months.

Tesla said Denholm will be serving as Tesla chair on a full-time basis.

Mr Musk heaped praise on his replacement.

Ms Denholm, who has been on Tesla's board since August 2014, became Telstra CFO in July.

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

"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", the statement from the electric car-maker said.

The appointment of Denholm caps months of turbulence for Tesla amid investor demands for stronger oversight.

"The market reacted to this information and Tesla's stock price quickly traded up", said Stephanie Avakian, the SEC's Co-Director of the Division of Enforcement, in a September news conference.