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Tesla exec Tom Zhu triggers promotion speculation after China names new legal rep

Credit: Tesla Asia/Twitter

Tesla global vice president and CEO of the Greater China region Tom Zhu has triggered speculations of a potential promotion after the electric vehicle maker’s operating entity in China changed its legal representative. Zhu is favored in the EV community as a potential global leader for Tesla, considering his achievements in Gigafactory Shanghai. 

Information posted by Chinese provider Qichacha recently indicated that Zhu is no longer the legal representative of Tesla Shanghai Co Ltd. Wang Hao, the general manager of Tesla China, now fills the position. Zhu remains listed as the chairman of Tesla Shanghai Co Ltd, however. The change in Tesla China’s information was reportedly effective December 22, 2023. 

The change in Zhu’s position in Tesla China’s operations has caught the attention of avid observers of the electric vehicle maker. Zhu is a veteran of Tesla, joining the company in 2014 as the head of China’s destination charging program. He was later promoted to Tesla China’s deputy general manager in 2018, before taking the spot of Tesla China general manager in 2019. 

Zhu’s work ethic is admirable, and he has shown behaviors that echo those of CEO Elon Musk. In past interviews, it was seen that Zhu works alongside Giga Shanghai’s staff, without a special office, and his personal work desk is unrecognizable from the rest of the facility’s workers. During China’s Covid-related lockdowns this year, Zhu reportedly lived temporarily in Gigafactory Shanghai as well. This was likely among the reasons why the executive was brought over to Giga Texas to help the new facility ramp its operations

So notable was Zhu’s rise in Tesla’s ranks that earlier this month, local news reports in China, citing unnamed sources, claimed that Elon Musk has settled on the executive as his successor for the electric vehicle maker’s CEO position. The reports noted than that while Zhu’s role will be global, his responsibilities would likely be focused on the electric vehicle maker’s automotive business, not Autopilot and FSD or the Optimus humanoid robot program. 

Gigafactory Shanghai is Tesla’s global export hub, but the facility has caught its own fair share of controversy as of late. As per recent reports, the electric vehicle factory’s production will be shut down next month once more as China celebrates the Chinese New Year

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Tesla exec Tom Zhu triggers promotion speculation after China names new legal rep
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