Tesla, the US-based electric vehicle manufacturer, has appointed Vaibhav Taneja, of Indian origin, as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), following the resignation of former CFO Zachary Kirkhorn. Taneja, aged 45, will take on the role of CFO in addition to his current position as Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) within the company.
According to an official company filing, Kirkhorn’s tenure of 13 years is characterised as a period of “remarkable expansion and advancement.” Kirkhorn will remain with Tesla until the end of the year to facilitate a smooth transition.
Zachary Kirkhorn personally announced his departure from the position of Tesla’s CFO on LinkedIn, stating, “This morning Tesla announced that I’ve stepped down from my role as Chief Financial Officer, succeeded by our Chief Accounting Officer, Vaibhav Taneja.”
Reflecting on his time with the company, Kirkhorn mentioned, “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.”
Kirkhorn also conveyed his appreciation to Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, for his guidance and positive outlook, which has been a source of inspiration for numerous individuals.
Indian-origin executive Vaibhav Taneja has assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Tesla, taking over from Zachary Kirkhorn, who concluded his 13-year tenure at the electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer on August 4.
With a certified public accountant qualification, the 45-year-old Taneja completed his undergraduate studies in Bachelors of Commerce (B.Com) at Delhi University, India, in 1999. He later achieved his chartered accountancy designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), as stated in his LinkedIn profile.
Taneja, who had been fulfilling the role of Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) since March 2019, has now assumed the responsibilities of CFO within the Elon Musk-led company, in addition to his existing duties. According to his LinkedIn profile, Taneja joined Tesla in February 2017 as Assistant Corporate Controller and was subsequently promoted to the position of Corporate Controller in May of the following year.
Prior to his association with Tesla, Taneja gained experience at SolarCity Corporation, where he held diverse financial and accounting positions. Within the solar panel manufacturing firm, which was acquired by Tesla in 2016, Taneja served as Vice President of Accounting Operations and later as Vice President of Corporate Controller.
Having garnered over 16 years of professional experience, Taneja has an extensive background at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a firm specialising in providing assurance, tax, and advisory services, spanning both India and the United States. He fulfilled the role of Assistant Manager in New Delhi, the capital city of India, and later advanced to the position of Senior Manager in San Jose, California, within the company.
In the year 2021, Tesla formally established its Indian subsidiary, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited, in the city of Bengaluru, situated in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, as reported by the news agency Reuters. As detailed by The Economic Times, Taneja was designated as one of three directors appointed by the company for this Indian subsidiary.
In a correlated development, Piyush Goyal, the Union Commerce Minister, recently engaged in a confidential session with prominent executives from Tesla, a US-headquartered company, to deliberate on the automaker’s intentions of establishing a manufacturing facility within the nation. Two individuals with direct insight into the matter disclosed this information to news agency Reuters.
Tesla has exhibited a keen interest in erecting a production plant in India, dedicated to crafting an economical electric vehicle (EV) priced at $24,000. This prospective offering would stand at approximately 25% less in cost compared to Tesla’s current entry-level model. The envisioned production targets both the indigenous Indian market as well as overseas markets.
Accompanying this development, Tesla’s senior figure in public policy and business development, Rohan Patel, as well as Roshan Thomas, a vice president overseeing the supply chain, also held discussions with officials from the Invest India agency during their stay in the nation.
The encounter with Minister Goyal assumes particular prominence, as it stands as the most noteworthy interaction following Elon Musk’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in June, which took place in New York. Subsequent to this interaction, the billionaire entrepreneur expressed his earnest desire to channel substantial investments into the nation.