Telstra chief financial officer Robyn Denholm resigns to focus on Tesla board duties

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Telstra chief financial officer Robyn Denholm resigns to focus on Tesla board duties
Robyn Denholm

Telstra chief financial officer Robyn Denholm has resigned from the telco, one month after being promoted to the role in a major executive restructure.

Releasing the news in an announcement to the ASX on Thursday, Telstra said Denholm would step down after serving out her six-month notice period, with her final date of employment being 6 May 2019.

Denholm, who has served on the board for Tesla Motors since 2014, is set to take on the role of chairman of that board from 13 November, replacing Elon Musk’s position. Musk stepped down from the chairman position under pressure following a series a tweets suggesting he was considering taking the company private.

Telstra said Tesla would appoint another board director to support Denholm in the chairman role, and will take on the majority of chairman responsibilities until she has completed the six-month notice period.

“We are sorry to see Robyn leave Telstra,” Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said. “We know that it has become increasingly difficult to balance her responsibilities as Telstra CFO with the increased activity of the Tesla board.”

Telstra appointed Denholm out of Juniper Networks as chief operations officer in 2016, filling the vacancy left by Kate McKenzie. Denholm became chief financial officer and head of strategy in October, in an executive shakeup as part of the telco’s T22 restructure strategy.

Telstra said in her time as COO, Denholm helped in the delivery of Telstra’s commercial agreements with NBN Co and helped set the direction for the company’s Networks of the Future and Digitisation programs.

“We are undertaking a search for a new chief financial officer and will provide an update on a replacement appointment as soon as possible,” Penn said.

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