Tesla newly appointed chairman Robyn Denholm will bring business expertise to the board of directors and be a decisive counterweight to CEO Elon Musk, although she is not the most exciting pick, analysts and experts told CNBC Thursday. 19659002] div> div.group> p: first child "/>
Denholm is the CFO of the Australian telecommunications company Telstra, where she previously served as Chief Operations Officer. She announced Wednesday that she left the company and will focus only on the role of Tesla chair. Before Telstra, he had senior positions with network systems and served as National Financial Controller for Toyota.
Denholm has been on Tesla's Board since 201[ads1]4, as many say is the only real disadvantage. Investors and analysts hoped for a truly independent outsider. leader to fully control Musk's often wanted antics.
It was Musk's controversial tweeting that asked SEC Frau D fees and subsequent settlement as mandate a new leader in the first place.
"I could dream up 10 people from the outside who could be a leader, but I really do not know from a ivory tower, if it makes sense, says Baird analyst Ben Kallo to CNBC. "We all want a superstar – Larry Ellison at one time, or [Sheryl] Sandberg from Facebook – and as much as it sounds good on paper, it's actually a smarter and more targeted decision."
Denholm is as independent as a current insider becomes, said Kallo. Amongst a handpicked board that includes Elon's brother Kimbal Musk, Denholm is relatively removed. She is also unlikely to create headlines that Musk often does.
"She has always been a voice of good logic and reason [on the board] and helped balance out … anyone who just wanted to go with the stream with Elon," said Kallo. "Can she check Elon? I'm not sure and I'm not sure if anyone could check him. Maybe his brother, but I think if they had their brother as a board member, everyone would be up in their arms."
Tesla still has two independent board members to appoint in accordance with the SEC settlement. The committees could shed light on Denholm's immediate influence as leader.
"I think what they must demonstrate is a kind of new world order within Tesla – stricter business communication filters, more objective, rounded decisions about corporate governance," says analyst Jamie Albertine to the Consumer Edge for CNBC. "I just hope they is aware of the gravity of the major threatening question: the wider independence of the board in relation to management. "