Robyn Denholm replaces Musk as Tesla board chair

Tesla has named Robyn Denholm as the new chair of its board, replacing Chief Executive Elon Musk who stepped down from the post as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was investigating allegations that Musk misled investors.

Denholm, who assumed her new job Tuesday, is considered a relative outsider who will face the difficult task of overseeing the maverick billionaire.

How Denholm and Musk will work together was not immediately clear, but the company said in a statement that "Elon will be a resource to Robyn and provide any support that she requests in her role as Chair."

Denholm, the chief financial officer of Australian telecommunications firm Telstra, has served on Tesla's board since 2014 but has fewer ties to Musk than most of the company's directors. She will temporarily step down as chair of Tesla's audit committee until she leaves Telstra.

Telstra said she would be leaving her CFO role in the coming months.

Shares of the electric-car maker were slightly lower in premarket action Wednesday.

Besides Telstra, Denholm has held executive positions at Juniper Networks and Sun Microsystems. She holds 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 and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia.

The announcement comes ahead of a Nov. 13 deadline that was part of Musk's settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to end claims he misled investors.

That deal required Musk to step aside as head of the board for three years in favor of an independent chairman.

Musk, who remains CEO, was named chairman in 2004 after becoming the largest investor.