While the SEC is going after Elon Musk’s use of Twitter, Tesla’s new chairwoman is backing the CEO and goes as far as saying that his use of the platform is “wise”.
As part of Tesla and Musk’s settlement with the SEC over the comments about taking the company private, Tesla’s board had to appoint a new chair.
In November, they ended up appointing longtime board member Robyn Denholm as the new chairwoman to replace Musk.
She is currently in a transition period from an executive role at Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, to focusing full-time on the Tesla chair position.
After her appointment, Musk made some comments in a 60 Minute interview that sounded like he didn’t see Denholm nor the board having any control over him – saying ‘I can get anything done that I want’, but it turned out that there were some ‘misleading edits’ in that interview.
Nonetheless, Chairman Robyn Denholm addressed the issue of her power over Musk and the rest of Tesla’s management team in an interview with ABC in Sydney on Wednesday:
“The role of a board is to actually make sure that management is doing their job. It’s not to operate the company. I’ve been an operator all of my career, but I’m not an operator at Tesla. What I am is the chair of the board. So what we need to make sure to do is that the management is deploying the strategy, executing against that strategy, and doing all the things that it needs to do, including communications, for the whole company and in the interest of all shareholders. That’s the role I’m playing.”
As for what specifically got Musk in trouble, his use of Twitter, Denholm didn’t seem to have any issue with it or plan to intervene.
“Twitter is part of everyday business for many executives today. From my perspective, he uses it wisely.”
The SEC is currently trying to hold Musk in contempt of his settlement before a judge.
Denholm believes they have done everything by the book:
“We believe we’ve done everything that we need to do under the settlement, but obviously it’s going to the court and it will go from there,”
Some analysts and shareholders believe that those antics are causing a problem for the company, but the new chairwoman doesn’t see Musk as a problem:
“I don’t think he poses any challenges. The company is running very well and the board itself is very engaged. We meet with him all the time.”
She is currently still an executive at Telstra and plans to fully transition to her role at Tesla within the next two months.
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