Skip to main content

Tesla (TSLA) appoints new CFO and CAO in finance team shakeup

Tesla (TSLA) already announced in January that its longtime Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Deepak Ahuja is going to be leaving and be replaced by another executive member of the finance team.

The automaker has now officially appointed the new CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, as well as a new Chief Accounting Officer, Vaibhav Taneja, after the position was vacant following several departures in the department over the last year.

Ahuja has been Tesla’s CFO for the better part of the last decade.

When his retirement (second from Tesla) was announced in January, Tesla said that there will be a transition period to introduce the 34-year-old Kirkhorn, who has held several positions in Tesla’s finance team over the last 9 years, and Ahuja would stay to advise him.

Now Tesla announced in a new SEC filing today that Kirkhorn has been officially appointed as CFO:

“Pursuant to its prior announcement, on March 13, 2019, Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”) appointed Zachary Kirkhorn as its Chief Financial Officer to succeed Deepak Ahuja. Mr. Kirkhorn, 34, first joined Tesla in March 2010 and has continuously served in various roles in its finance department other than a two-year period between 2011 and 2013 during which he obtained his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, including most recently as Vice President, Finance, Financial Planning and Business Operations since December 2018.”

As part of his appointment, Kirkhorn will receive “a stock option grant of $12 million and a restricted stock unit grant of $4 million, which will be granted and will vest over four years in accordance with Tesla’s standard equity policies.”

At the same time, Tesla also appointed a new Chief Accounting Officer (CAO); Vaibhav Taneja.

Over the last year, Tesla has lost many executives in its finance and accounting department and Chief Accounting Officer was particularly affected.

Tesla first created the Chief Accounting Officer at the company in 2016 by hiring Eric Branderiz.

Branderiz left in March 2018 and the position stayed vacant until Tesla hired Dave Morton from Seagate Technology, but Morton didn’t last long.

He resigned in September.

Now Tesla announced the appointment of Taneja to the role.

The company made the announcement in the same new SEC filing today:

“Also on March 13, 2019, Tesla appointed Vaibhav Taneja, Tesla’s current Corporate Controller since May 2018, as its Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Taneja, 41, previously served as Tesla’s Assistant Corporate Controller between February 2017 and May 2018, and as Vice President of SolarCity Corporation in its accounting functions between March 2016 and February 2017 as well as its Corporate Controller from August 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Taneja was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers in India and the U.S. between July 1999 and March 2016, including most recently as a Senior Manager in its Assurance practice.”

Like Kirkhorn, Taneja is also going to receive a new stock option grant: “$6 million and a restricted stock unit grant of $2 million, which will be granted and will vest over four years in accordance with Tesla’s standard equity policies.”

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.