Tesla Inc. previously operated under Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn. After 13 years with the company, he stepped down from his executive position suddenly. The resignation came as a shock to many and left the company scrambling to find a replacement on such short notice. He resigned on August 4th. While the company works to find and train a permanent replacement, Kirkhorn will resume some of his CFO duties through the end of 2023.
Presently, the role of CFO is being stepped into by the current Chief Accounting Officer Vaibhav Taneja. Taneja has been with the company for many years at this point, serving as the CAO since 2019.
Kirkhorn’s resignation interrupts some large projects for the electric vehicle manufacturer.
Currently, Tesla is working on building a new factory in Mexico and has plans to bring the Cybertruck back to fruition. Tesla has also recently been dealing with some revenue decline as more manufacturers are becoming prominent competitors with their electric vehicles. Tesla, which was previously known for its high price point, has even lowered their costs to maintain steady with their competition.
A representative from Deepwater Asset Management gave a statement saying that the 13-year stint Kirkhorn did working with Elon Musk at Tesla is like a 50-year employment stint anywhere else. He feels that the fact that Kirkhorn is remaining to assist as needed throughout the year communicates a lot about the nature of the departure and the chaos the transition may bring.
Kirkhorn to many was a leading contender to take over the title of CEO whenever Elon Musk was to step down.
Prior to Kirkhorn taking on the role of CFO, Tesla had been dealing with a series of loss after loss. There were multiple occasions in which they ran through $1 billion in one quarter. However, with Kirkhorn behind the financials, they were able to successfully pay off $10 billion in debt over three years.
It is unclear what the nature of the resignation was, or whether there are any ill feelings from either party toward the other. With the continued, even if limited, assistance from Kirkhorn throughout the rest of the year, the transition is widely anticipated to run smoothly.