"While Denholm is technically an independent member of the board, she has been part of the Musk team for some time now and that suggests she will not be up to the task of checking Musk's worst instincts", said Stephen Diamond, a professor of law at Santa Clara University who specializes in corporate governance. "Do you ask the person who helped get you lost in the woods to help drive you out of the woods?"
Email messages sent to Denholm Thursday were not immediately returned. Tesla shares rose slightly to $349.34 in premarket trading.
The spokeswoman added that Tesla was actively looking for two additional independent directors.
The settlement with the securities watchdog required Musk and Tesla to each pay $20 million in fines (€17.5 million).
Robyn Denholm has experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley across a range of big companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, as well as Toyota, where she worked in numerous finance management roles. Since January 2017, she has also been chief financial officer of Australian telecoms firm Telstra. Telstra is the largest telecommunications company in Australia. "Very much look forward to working together", he wrote. Musk and Tesla settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September after the USA agency sued for fraud.
Tesla earned a $311.5 million net profit during the third-quarter, delivering the first step of a promise from Musk to post sustainable profits.
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