When choosing Robyn Denholm for Elon Musk to be under control, the advice of Tesla Inc. It was with a first executive of numbers that rose to the ranks of the financial departments of the multinationals. Those who know her say their non-meaningful methods may be exactly what Tesla needs.
"Everything about it is rational, reasonable and warm. I'm not surprised I got the job done," said Scott McNealy, co-founder and former Sun Microsystems president, in a telephone interview. "If Elon listens to you, it will be more successful".
Tesla president, Denholm, 55, will be responsible for the celebration of CEO celebrities Musk while guiding a manufacturer of electric cars that is still in a phase of volume expansion and vulnerable to financial mishaps. While Tesla has just celebrated a great distance – publishing a strange profit – many analysts expect new capital increases are needed before the company is standing.
Denholm began his career in auditing and accounting services at Arthur Andersen and left the post for the financial position of the Australian subsidiary of Toyota. She joined Sun in 1996 and was there for 11 years, including a position in the group of leaders of the pioneering IT company. She refused to be interviewed.
Musk, 47, is a classic type founding member of Silicon Valley, an eccentric visionary who is very focused on the products. The presidents who oversee it often were the delegated advisers themselves or led companies in other strategic roles. A president with a financial history is not so common, although in the case of Tesla that could actually be a force: the relationship with the financial community is precisely what the automaker seeks to improve.
"It seems to be absolutely competent in financial communications," said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a leading expert who teaches at the Yale School of Management. "Of the probable options, I think they made the best choice. Their strengths are not theirs and vice versa."
Still, some see Denholm as close to Musk. An independent director of Tesla since 2014, was part of a board that failed to avoid the erratic actions of the CEO this year, including his problematic August tweets about trying to take the private company. An agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States on the matter stipulated that Tesla should strengthen a cadre criticized for being too close to its billionaire leader.
Denholm "offers a potential spark for change," said the newspaper, Lou Mardes. But Tesla has to continue with other actions, including converting half of the board to bring managers with manufacturing experience, he said.
After Sun, Denholm worked for the network equipment maker Juniper Networks, where he was executive vice president and chief of finance and operations. Its technological background is a feature: Tesla's automobiles constantly receive new features through software updates on air and company batteries are increasingly being sold to public service companies. Denholm also served on the advice of ABB Ltd., the Swedish-Swiss multinational, which works closely with public services.
"Robyn is very clever, difficult to think and ethically," said William F. Meehan, professor of strategic direction at Stanford Graduate School of Business, who was the director of Juniper while working there.
Denholm joined Telstra, the largest telephone company in Australia, in January 2017 as chief of operations and assumed the role of CFO on October 1. His decision to abandon the role of the CFO quickly surprised many; Only last month, she told Australian media through a spokesman that was not in dispute over President Tesla's work. Denholm, who is married and has adult children, lives in Sydney and it is unclear she will return to California for the president's work.
"Robyn is not afraid but is very practical. If you believe in something that fights for her, it's not a push," said Joe Pollard, former Telstra marketing director, in an interview. "She is always focused on" how we will solve this problem. "Never leave anything and always talk about customers, businesses and employees."
Like Silicon Valley, the business world in Australia has a long way in terms of gender equality, and Denholm is passionate about getting more women in science, technology and engineering, and to establish a scholarship on its behalf at the University of New South Wales.
"She is not part of bro's cultivation, and she's still no naive nautical parachute from abroad," said Sallenfeld de Yale. "It's a strange ray of news of good government."