Tesla Names Juniper Networks’ CFO Denholm as Board Director

Aug 06, 2014 4:10 pm ET

(Updates with closing share price in final paragraph.)

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors Inc. is expanding its board to seven members by adding Juniper Networks Inc.’s Robyn Denholm, the first female director since the fast-growing electric-car maker sold shares to the public in 2010.

Denholm, who is Juniper’s executive vice president and chief financial and operations officer, joins Tesla’s board Aug. 11, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a filing today. She will lead Tesla’s audit committee and serve on the compensation committee and another over nominating and corporate governance, the carmaker said.

Tesla is preparing to accelerate production of its electric vehicles to a 100,000-unit rate by the end of 2015 and expand sales in China and other global markets. The company co-founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is also preparing to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factory that may cost as much as $5 billion to construct somewhere in the U.S. Southwest.

Denholm takes over board functions previously held by Brad Buss, who is giving up those roles up after becoming SolarCity Corp.’s chief financial officer, Tesla said. Buss will remain a Tesla board member, along with Musk, the company’s chief executive officer and chairman; Antonio Gracias; Kimbal Musk; Ira Ehrenpreis; and Steve Jurvetson.

Before joining Juniper in 2007, Denholm was a senior vice president for corporate strategic planning at Sun Microsystems, and she has earlier worked for Tesla investor Toyota Motor Corp.

Laurie Yoler was the first woman on Tesla’s board, serving as a founding director while it was a closely held startup from 2003 until May 2008, according to the company.

Tesla rose 4.4 percent to $248.93 at the close in New York, the highest price in five months. The shares have gained 65 percent this year.