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Tesla overlooks James Murdoch for chairman role vacated by Elon Musk

9:56 am, 8th November 2018

Tesla said she would leave her current job as chief financial officer at Australian telecoms firm Telstra in six months – after serving her notice period – to become its chairman full time.

Musk agreed to an independent chairman being appointed as part of a settlement with US regulators that allowed him to remain chief executive.

He and the company were fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after tweets sent by Musk about plans to take Tesla private were deemed to be fraudulent.

The company had until next week to name the new chairman.

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

That school of thought was supported by the fact he had recently stepped down as the chairman of Sky, the owner of Sky News, after the UK firm was taken over by Comcast.

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

However, a positive results statement last month helped soothe tensions after Mr Musk was seen as delivering on his profit promises.