Tesla, the world’s leading car maker, announced on Monday a significant change in its top leadership. Zachary Kirkhorn, who served as Tesla’s finance chief for four years, has stepped down. The company has appointed Vaibhav Taneja, the head of accounting, to replace him in this crucial position.
Elon Musk’s Tesla did not give any specific reason for Kirkhorn’s departure. After being with the company for 13 years, he will remain until the end of this year to ensure a smooth transition.
During Kirkhorn’s time in charge, Tesla achieved remarkable success. For the first time, the company posted a quarterly profit after launching the mass-market Model 3 compact sedan. It also reached an incredible market valuation of over $1 trillion.
In a heartfelt LinkedIn post, Kirkhorn expressed his pride in the work done at Tesla. 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.”
The news did affect the stock market, with Tesla shares falling more than 2% in early trading.
Taking over the reins is Vaibhav Taneja, 45, who joined Tesla after the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. In addition to his role as chief accounting officer, he now assumes the so-called “Master of Coin” position.
This leadership change comes at a time when Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, is adjusting its market strategy. This year, the automaker cut car prices to focus more on sales growth and market share, impacting its industry-leading margins.
The transition of power is expected to be smooth, with both Kirkhorn and Taneja working closely for the rest of the year. It remains to be seen how this change will shape Tesla’s future direction in a highly competitive market.