Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn has stepped down unexpectedly from the position.
A company veteran of 13 years, Kirkhorn stepped down from the role on August 4, but he will remain with Tesla through the end of the year to enable a smooth transition.
Tesla did not offer a reason for Zach Kirkhorn’s departure. “During his tenure, Tesla has seen tremendous expansion and growth. Tesla thanks Mr. Kirkhorn for his significant contributions,” the company said in a regulatory filing today, according to Reuters.
Tesla named its accounting head, Vaibhav Taneja, as its new CFO. Taneja, 45, has been Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer since 2019. He held other roles at the company before that and previously worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in India and the US.
Kirkhorn, 39, confirmed his departure in a LinkedIn post today.
“This morning Tesla announced that I’ve stepped down from my role as Chief Financial Officer, succeeded by our Chief Accounting Officer, Vaibhav Taneja. 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. 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’s unexpected departure comes at a bad time as Tesla is preparing to bring the Cybertruck to market later this year and is seeing increasing competition in the EV market. The company has been lowering prices since the start of the year to maintain its No. 1 spot in the EV industry.
Zach Kirkhorn was appointed Tesla CFO in early 2019 when he was 34. The company has been consistently profitable since then and even repayed about $10 billion of debt in the past three years. The debt repayments helped Tesla secure investment-grade ratings. Before 2019, Tesla had a long history of losses, occasionally burning more than $1 billion of cash per quarter.
Kirkhorn, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, joined Tesla in March 2010 as a senior analyst in the finance department. He worked under his predecessors as CFO, Deepak Ahuja and Jason Wheeler.
Tesla stock fell almost 3 percent today in early trading after the announcement.
Source: Zachary Kirkhorn / LinkedIn via Reuters
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