Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair, Elon Musk steps down

Tesla Model 3
Miles Branman/Digital Trends

The search is over. Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm to replace Elon Musk as the chair of its board of directors.

Denholm’s name isn’t as well-known as Musk’s but she’s familiar with how Tesla operates. Though she currently works as the chief financial officer of Telstra, one of Australia’s largest telecommunications companies, she has served on the Tesla board as an independent director since 2014, and she is also the chair of the company’s audit committee. Her new position at Tesla starts immediately, though she will continue to work for Telstra until May 2019. She will step down from her role on the audit committee until then.

The 55-year-old Denholm brings decades of experience in finance to Tesla. The Australian native spent most of her career working in tech firms, including 11 years at Sun Microsystems and nine years at Juniper Networks, but she held various positions at Toyota’s Australian division for seven years.

“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. I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk wrote in a statement published on the company’s blog.

Though he admitted no wrongdoing, Musk agreed to step down as the company’s chairman for a three-year period and agreed to pay a $20 million fine to settle a lawsuit filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his controversial “funding secured” tweet. The billionaire will remain the company’s CEO in the foreseeable future, and he will work with Denholm as she makes the transition from Telstra to Tesla in the coming months.

“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,” Denholm said.

Denholm’s appointment comes shortly after Tesla quieted critics and surprised investors by posting a profit during the third quarter of 2018. Speaking during a conference call, Musk proudly announced the company he helped found is now in a position to sustainably make money. He expects the firm will remain in the black during the final quarter of 2018.

Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.
Cars

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.
Cars

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ousted, arrested after whistleblower cries foul

Nissan will oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after an internal investigation revealed he underreported his salary to Japan's financial authorities for years. Greg Kelly, one of Nissan's representative directors, will leave for the same reason.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.
Cars

Lamborghini transforms the Urus SUV into a dual-purpose race car

Breaking stereotypes and tradition, Lamborghini has turned the Urus SUV into a race car that's equally at home on a paved track and on a dirt trail. The ST-X concept gets bigger air intakes, a full roll cage, and center-locking alloy…
Cars

Jaguar’s V2X technology will keep you from getting stuck at red lights

Jaguar wants to make sure you never have to rush through a yellow light again. The carmaker is building tools that will tell you what speed you'll need to drive to avoid getting stuck at a red light.
Cars

Drool over Lamborghini’s latest dream machine: The one-off SC18

The Lamborghini SC18 was built by the automaker's Squadra Corse racing department at the request of a customer. Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, it features upgraded aerodynamic aids and reduced weight.