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Tesla CEO Elon Musk comments on CFO Zach Kirkhorn’s departure

Credit: Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented on CFO Zach Kirkhorn’s departure from the company.

“I would like to thank Zach Kirkhorn for his many contributions to Tesla over the course of 13 often difficult years,” Musk said in a Tweet. “Much appreciated and best wishes for the next stage of his career.”

Yesterday, it was revealed that Kirkhorn, who has been with Tesla since 2010, decided to leave his post as the automaker’s Chief Financial Officer. Speculation from many media outlets over the past year indicated that Kirkhorn might be the person to succeed Musk in taking the reigns of the all-electric automaker.

Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn steps down but will remain until end of 2023

Instead, Kirkhorn will do something else.

Why Kirkhorn left Tesla is still not known, and while the automaker said in its 8-K filing, which announced his decision to leave, that it was grateful for his service, there does not seem to be any indication of termination.

A later comment made by Musk indicates it might have been burnout for Kirkhorn that led to his decision.

Musk said:

“13 years is a long tour of duty. Zach will spend time with friends & family, then do something else.”

Analysts that follow Tesla believe that this is also the case. Comments from Deepwater Asset Management managing partner Gene Munster, who has covered Tesla for years, said that working that many years for someone with the vision and demands of Elon Musk “is like working 50 years for anyone else.”

Kirkhorn has the assets to take a bit of a hiatus from his professional life, as well. Bloomberg reports that his network is somewhere in the range of $590 million.

It sounds like Kirkhorn, who will help Tesla transition new CFO Vaibhav Taneja, who acted as the company’s Chief Accounting Officer since 2019, to the role.

“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,” Kirkhorn said in a statement on LinkedIn. “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.”

Please email me with questions and comments at joey@teslarati.com. I’d love to chat! You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk comments on CFO Zach Kirkhorn’s departure
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