Musk's New Successor and Tesla's New Trailblazer

Tesla's got a new founder! And it is none other than a woman who has an ocean of experience in the tech world

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The world’s most popular electric vehicles manufacturer bid adieu to its co-founder Elon Musk, amidst controversies and rolled out carpets for Robyn Denholm to spearhead Tesla.

Jonathan Weiss |

What Prompted This Move?

It is never easy to give away your creation which you have nurtured with your entire heart and soul over the years. This move definitely would not have been easy for the co-founder. So then what exactly prompted this move of giving the baton to someone else?

Musk’s leadership has been under severe scrutiny after a few incidents. The Securities and Exchange Commission apparently sued Musk on the grounds of misleading investors after he tweeted that he had private funding. Musk and the company will pay $20 million each. Thus, the need of the appointment but Musk will continue to support the activities within the company. In a statement by Tesla, it said, “To ensure a smooth transition during the remainder of Robyn's time at Telstra (TSLYY), Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as chair.”

It is difficult to think of a replacement for Musk, a man of vision with a brilliant mind. A person possessing intelligence, he is Silicon’s Valley’s one of the most popular founders. He has taken Tesla to heights very few could have imagined. He remains the CEO and has a sizeable place in the board of directors as well. According to the norms, he cannot apply for re-election for the next three years. Although Denholm has big shoes to fill, she is a competitive figure and her past work experiences look promising as well.

Who is Robyn Denholm?

Robyn Denholm, 55, is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer of Telstra, an Australian Telecomm. She has served largely in the financial departments during her career. An economics graduate, Denholm started her career at Arthur Anderson and Co. and later on joined Toyota Australia.

Despite Musk’s genius, this year saw some erratic actions on part of the leader and Denholm is being touted as a person who will justify her role as his successor. Called “rational,” “warm” and “supremely competent”, her appointment has been hailed as a positive move by the masses. Musk in a statement said, “Robyn has extensive experience in both 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.” He further added, “ I look forward to working even more closely with Robyn as we continue accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.”

Mission Driven Approach

In her statement, released soon after the appointment, Robyn Denholm said, “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.” It will be interesting to see how and what woman power adds to the world of Tesla and Musk himself.