Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer, Zachary Kirkhorn, has resigned, shocking analysts who saw the 13-year business veteran as a likely successor to Elon Musk.
His decision to step down marks the highest-profile executive change at the company since long-time executive Jerome Guillen, who oversaw its electric Semi truck development, left in 2021.
Although his reason for the departure was not given, Tesla confirmed that Vaibhav Taneja, 45, will take over and continue as head of accounting.
Kirkhorn will remain at Tesla until the end of the year to provide a “smooth transition,” according to the company.
In a LinkedIn post, Kirkhorn wrote “Being a part of this company is a special experience, and I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done together since I joined over 13 years ago”.
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On his part, Musk wrote on X, “I would like to thank Zach Kirkhorn for his many contributions to Tesla over the course of 13 often difficult years. Much appreciated, and best wishes for the next stage of his career”.
Kirkhorn’s retirement comes as Tesla attempts to establish a plant in Mexico dedicated to a mass-market EV that will serve as the foundation for a robotaxi.
During Kirkhorn’s tenure, Tesla earned its first quarterly profit after scaling up Model 3 manufacturing and reaching a market price of more than $1 trillion.
Tesla shares fell 1% in after-hours trading.
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