In a surprising turn of events, Tesla‘s CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, known to many as the ‘Master of Coin’, has announced his resignation. Like any business, small or large, people come and go. But this isn’t an average person at a normal company. Kirkhorn was deep in the trenches from the early days of the little start-up Electric Car company, and his departure leaves us only to speculate what happened and what happens now both at Tesla and for Kirkhorn.
Tesla Today and into the Future
The short answer to what happens now is Kirkhorn will stay on until the end of the year; however, his responsibilities have been handed over to Vaibhav Taneja, Tesla‘s Chief Accounting Officer since 2019 after joining the company in 2017 following the purchase of SolarCity. Kirkhorn is going out with his head held high and still a true believer in Tesla‘s vision, as he is sticking around for four more months to help with the transition. In his LinkedIn post, which he only publicly posts about once a year, he said: “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.”
Reason for Leaving is Unknown
There are no clues about what is next for Kirkhorn or why he is leaving. So, that would lead many to believe there must’ve been an issue at the top, Elon Musk. While that is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, both men seemed to be playing nice on social media. Kirkhorn stated on Linkedin, “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.” Musk posted on X.com, “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 replaced Deepak Ahuja who left Tesla in 2019. Ahuja had been in the driver’s seat of Tesla‘s finances since 2008, so it’s safe to say that Kirkhorn had some pretty big shoes to fill. That being said, he certainly did not disappoint, as Tesla‘s stock quadrupled under his watch. However, what’s more impressive is the fact that he has been able to keep the company afloat despite the pandemic and the seemingly endless onslaught of Twitter controversy.
What’s Next for Tesla?
It’s easy to look at the situation and conclude that Tesla is in trouble. However, that would be overlooking the fact that the company is still perfectly capable of making huge strides in the industry. Tesla has created a brand that is synonymous with innovation, and that will continue to be the case with or without Kirkhorn.
Tesla‘s CFO position has always been a revolving door, and it’s likely that the position won’t remain vacant for long. The company has already announced that their new CFO will be Sanjay Shah, former CFO of fast-growing Electric vehicle company NIO. Sanjay is no stranger to the EV business, having served as CFO of NIO since 2018. His experience and business acumen will no doubt be a great addition to Tesla‘s already impressive team.
It’s impossible to predict what the future holds for Tesla, but one thing is certain: the company is still on track to revolutionize the auto industry for years to come. Tesla has created a legacy of pushing the boundaries of innovation, and that will not change with the departure of Kirkhorn.