According to the media reports, Zachary Kirkhorn, the finance head of Tesla (TSLA.O), has resigned, stunning analysts who had been considering the 13-year veteran as a potential successor to CEO Elon Musk, and driving the price of the electric carmaker’s stock down 3.5% on Monday. In addition, serving as chief accounting officer, Vaibhav Taneja, also assumes the position of CFO.

Tesla did not state why he was let go.

Zachary Kirkhorn’s Resign

Zachary Kirkhorn will be replaced by accounting chief Vaibhav Taneja, who joined Tesla through the $2.6 billion transaction for Solarcity in 2016.

After Musk left Tesla, questions have been raised about a succession plan for the most valuable automaker in the world, which is led by him. who also oversees SpaceX and X social media, formerly Twitter.

Soft-spoken Zachary Kirkhorn, one of the most visible executives who frequently appeared on calls with analysts and gave presentations on strategy and products, was viewed as a useful counterbalance to the more erratic Musk.


Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments, a Tesla investor, noted that he was able to be an excellent liaison communicator between Elon Musk and other executives, which would be a competence that is hard to come by and very useful but hard to quantify.

During Zachary Kirkhorn’s time at Tesla, the company launched the mass-market Model 3 small automobile and reached a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. This led to the company reporting its first quarterly profit.

“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 Kirkhorn did not respond to queries when contacted on LinkedIn.

Working with Elon Musk is really difficult, and he’s done it for 13 years, so the fact that he’ll be around till the end of the year is evidence that this is solely for personal reasons, according to Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management.

The company has undergone the most significant change since longtime boss Jerome Guillen, who was in charge of its semi-electric vehicles, left in 2021.almost 13 years ago,” Zachary Kirkhorn wrote on LinkedIn.

In addition to his function as chief accounting officer, Taneja, 45, also assumes the responsibilities of the role, or the so-called “Master of Coin” position.

The Austin, a Texas-based automaker, reduced the price of its vehicles this year in an effort to increase market share and sales while reducing their previously unrivaled margins.

In what Musk called “turbulent times,” as higher financing costs have a negative impact on the sales of electric-vehicle manufacturers, Tesla has also hinted at more price reductions.

Reference: Financial Times