Tesla Names New CFO as Zachary Kirkhorn Steps Down
Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn has officially stepped down, as shown in a filing made public this week. The automaker has already named a replacement for Kirkhorn, though it remains to be seen what the now-former CFO will go on to do.
Above: Tesla vehicles parked in a lot (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
Kirkhorn has stepped down as the CFO at Tesla, though he will remain “through the end of the year,” according to an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated August 4 (via Reuters and Yahoo Finance). Tesla has appointed head of accounting Vaibhav Taneja to take Kirkhorn’s place. Kirkhorn also posted on LinkedIn following the announcement, thanking the company, its employees and CEO Elon Musk for his 13 years of working for Tesla.
"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,” Kirkhorn wrote in the post. “As I shift my responsibilities to support this transition, I want to thank the talented, passionate, and hard-working employees at Tesla, who have accomplished things many thought not possible.”
“I also want to thank Elon for his leadership and optimism, which has inspired so many people," Kirkhorn added.
Kirkhorn’s departure also elicited a response from Musk on Twitter, who recognized the executive for “his many contributions to Tesla over the course of 13 often difficult years.”
I would like to thank Zach Kirkhorn for his many contributions to Tesla over the course of 13 often difficult years.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2023
Much appreciated and best wishes for the next stage of his career.
It isn’t yet clear what Kirkhorn plans to do after leaving Tesla, though his remaining at the company through the end of the year will be focused on supporting the transition. Kirkhorn has worked as CFO at Tesla, dubbed "Master of Coin," since 2019, navigating the company through the COVID-19 pandemic and scaling the company’s production to a world stage.
“During his tenure, Tesla has seen tremendous expansion and growth,” Tesla said in a statement to the press. “Tesla thanks Mr. Kirkhorn for his significant contributions.”
Forthcoming CFO Taneja has served in multiple financial positions at the automaker since joining the company through the 2016 SolarCity acquisition, according to the company.
Following the news, analysts have noted Kirkhorn’s soft-spoken leadership at Tesla and his relationship with Musk. Often heard and seen on earnings calls and other important events, Kirkhorn was considered a a good communicator, according to Global Investments senior portfolio manager Thomas Martin, who is also a Tesla investor.
"He was able to be an effective liaison communicator between Elon and other executives,” Martin said. “...that would be a skillset that is hard to come by and very valuable but hard to quantify."
Above: Tesla Replaces CFO (Video: Bloomberg via YouTube)
===Sources: SEC / Reuters / Yahoo Finance / LinkedIn / Twitter / Bloomberg (via YouTube)