Robyn Denholm

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Robyn Denholm
Robyn Denholm in 2018
Robyn M. Denholm

1962/1963 (age 55–56)[1]
Milperra, New South Wales, Australia
TitleChairman, Tesla, Inc.
TermNovember 2018‒
PredecessorElon Musk
Board member ofTesla, Inc.

Robyn M. Denholm (born 1962/1963) is an Australian business executive. She succeeded Elon Musk as chairman of Tesla, Inc. in November 2018.

Early life[edit]

Denholm was born and raised in Milperra, New South Wales, where her parents owned a service station.[2] Working at her parents’ service station, Denholm handled the financial accounts, repaired cars, pumped petrol and became interested in cars.[3]

Denholm received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Sydney, and a master's degree in commerce from the University of New South Wales in 1999.[4][3] She is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand.[5]


After graduating, Denholm worked in accountancy for Arthur Andersen in Sydney.[3] This was followed by seven years at Toyota Australia.[1][4][3] Denholm worked at the IT companies Sun Microsystems,[1][4] and then Juniper Networks for nine years in finance and operations roles, rising to chief financial officer of Juniper.[3][1][4] In 2014, Denholm became a non-executive director of Tesla, Inc..[1] In the following four years as a non-executive director of Tesla, including as chair of the audit committee, Denholm received $17 million in Tesla stock options.[3]

In early-2017, Denholm was appointed as chief operations officer (COO) of Telstra, Australia's largest telecoms company.[6]

In November 2018 Denholm became chairman of Tesla, with a plan to transition to full-time following six months working out her notice period for as chief financial officer (CFO) and head of strategy at Telstra.[1]


According to the Financial Times, she "seems an unlikely choice to take on one of the toughest jobs in corporate America: taming the mercurial Elon Musk", and has been criticised for being a member for four years of a board of directors that has "done little to restrain Mr Musk".[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kollewe, Julia (8 November 2018). "Tesla names new chair to replace Elon Musk". the Guardian.
  2. ^ Lewis, Michelle. "Telstra appoints new Chief Operations Officer. Who is Robyn Denholm?". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Waters, Richard; Smyth, Jamie (9 November 2018). "Low-key Robyn Denholm takes on challenge of taming Elon Musk". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Tesla picks telco executive Robyn Denholm to replace Elon Musk as chairman". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. ^ ABB. "Director CV". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  6. ^ Berndtson, Odgers. "CFO one-on-one interview with Robyn Denholm". Retrieved 8 November 2018.

External links[edit]