Tesla says Robyn Denholm of Telstra to be new board chair

Tesla has announced that Robyn Denholm of Australia's Telstra will become its new board chair.

The electric car company said on Thursday in a statement that Denholm will leave Telstra after a six-month notice period with Australia's biggest telecoms company. The appointment takes effect immediately: Denholm already is on Tesla's board.

Musk still CEO

Tesla said her post as board chair will be a full-time position.

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Musk agreed to vacate his post as board chairman as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators of a lawsuit alleging he duped investors with misleading statements about a proposed buyout of the company.

The settlement in late September with the Securities and Exchange Commission allowed Musk to remain CEO of Tesla but required him to relinquish his role as chairman for at least three years.

Apart from appointing a new chairman, Tesla was required to appoint two new independent members to its board. The aim is to provide stronger oversight to match Tesla's growing stature and market value.

The charismatic, visionary Musk has strived to turn Tesla into a profitable, mass-market producer of environmentally-friendly electric cars. But his impulsive streak caused him trouble when he tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private.