Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn resigns

Zach Kirkhorn, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Tesla (TSLA ), which had helped transform the automaker into a financial powerhouse since 2019, resigned from his post effective Aug. 4, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday.

Key Points to Remember

  • Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla's Chief Financial Officer (CF0) since January 2019, resigned from his position effective Friday.
  • During his tenure, Tesla grew from an unprofitable company profitable business.
  • Tesla has had 16 consecutive profitable quarters with Kirkhorn as CFO.

Kirkhorn, who is little known outside the company and maintains a limited profile, resigned on Monday after four years as the electric carmaker's chief financial officer. While Elon Musk was at the helm of Tesla, Kirkhorn's role was to fine-tune operations and make sure everything ran smoothly from a financial standpoint.

Kirkhorn confirmed his resignation via a post on LinkedIn, expressing his gratitude to Tesla and his former colleagues. Kirkhorn first joined the company in 2010, nine years before he was named chief financial officer. The company's chief accounting officer, Vaibhav Taneja, will assume Kirkhorn's responsibilities.

Kirkhorn Mandate At Tesla

During Kirkhorn's tenure as CFO, Tesla has grown from an unprofitable business just four years ago to a lucrative business. Tesla had been bleeding money for more than a decade when, in January 2019, Musk chose Kirkhorn as the company's chief financial officer.

Tesla has since posted 16 consecutive profitable quarters, going from a record annual loss of $976 million in 2018 to a record annual profit of $12.6 billion last year. Meanwhile, the company's cash reserve grew sixfold, from just under $3.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 to $22.19 billion.

Musk and Kirkhorn had a very constructive relationship, unlike that of many Kirkhorn predecessors. The two were able to connect and communicate easily, and Kirkhorn was comfortable implementing Musk's vision from behind the scenes, said colleagues interviewed by The Wall Street Journal in May.

But this highly publicized departure could making Tesla investors nervous as the company's shares fell more than 3.5% in early trading Monday. Tesla stock has also lost around 15% in the past 12 months, although it has more than doubled since the start of the year.


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