Tesla (TSLA) announces departure of its long-time CFO

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Tesla has announced the departure of its long-time chief financial officer (CFO), Zachary Kirkhorn, who will be replaced by Tesla’s chief accounting officer, Vaibhav Taneja.

While Tesla has had issues retaining leadership at some positions, it wasn’t the case for the CFO.

Deepak Ahuja was Tesla’s CFO for roughly a decade, and when he left in 2019, he was replaced by Zachary Kirkhorn, who had already been at Tesla for more than six years.

Kirkhorn rose through the ranks of Tesla’s finance department, and he made a seamless transition to the leading role in a time Tesla started to generate a lot of cash.

He is liked among Tesla shareholders for its straightforward and no-nonsense answers on Tesla’s earnings calls.

Today, Tesla announced that Kirkhorn is leaving and being replaced by Vaibhav Taneja:

As of August 4, 2023, Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”) appointed Vaibhav Taneja as Chief Financial Officer in addition to his current role as Chief Accounting Officer, to succeed Zachary Kirkhorn. Mr. Kirkhorn stepped down as of August 4, after a thirteen-year tenure with the company, the last four years of which he has served as Master of Coin and Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure, Tesla has seen tremendous expansion and growth. Tesla thanks Mr. Kirkhorn for his significant contributions. Mr. Kirkhorn will continue to serve Tesla through the end of the year to support a seamless transition.

The automaker gave some background about Taneja, who is not as well known to shareholders, but he has also been at Tesla for a while:

Prior to this appointment as CFO, Mr. Taneja, 45, served as Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer since March 2019, as Corporate Controller from May 2018, and as Assistant Corporate Controller between February 2017 and May 2018. Mr. Taneja served in various finance and accounting roles at SolarCity Corporation from March 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Taneja was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers in both India and the U.S. between July 1999 and March 2016.

Tesla didn’t provide a reason for Kirkhorn’s departure, but it sounds like it is in good terms if he is staying at Tesla until the end of the year.

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