• Tesla has named Indian-origin Vaibhav Taneja as their Chief Financial Officer.
  • Tesla’s current CFO Zachary Kirkhorn has stepped down after serving 4 years in the role and 13 years in the company.
  • Vaibhav Taneja had joined Tesla after the automaker acquired SolarCity in 2016.

Indian-origin Vaibhav Taneja has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the American automobile giant, Tesla. Vaibhav is currently serving as Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer. He will take on the CFO position as an additional responsibility. This strategic structural change comes in as the former CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn steps down from his role. He is expected to remain in his position till the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

tesla Zach Kirkhorn chief financial officer cfo zachary vaibhav taneja elon musk

Zachary completes his 13-year stint with the Elon Musk-led company along with his 4-year stint as the Chief Financial Officer here. His step down comes as an unprecedented move. The outgoing CFO was once considered the successor of Elon Musk when the investors expressed concerns over the succession plan in Tesla. Zachary wrote about his decision to step down in his LinkedIn post while expressing how special his experience with Tesla has been and how proud he is of all the work they have accomplished together in these 13 years. He also introduced Vaibhav Taneja, the current Chief Accounting Officer, as the new Chief Financial Officer.

tesla Zach Kirkhorn chief financial officer cfo zachary vaibhav taneja linkedin accounting elon musk

Vaibhav Taneja’s appointment comes at a time when Tesla is aiming to boost its sales and capture more market share. The automobile major even reduced the prices of its cars which in turn squeezed its industry-leading margins, as per a report by Reuters. Kirkhorn’s decision to step down marks the highest profile executive change at the company since long-time executive Jerome Guillen left in 2021, who oversaw Tesla’s electric Semi truck development.

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In a company filing, the automaker described Kirkhorn’s 13-year-old tenure as one of “tremendous expansion and growth.” Elon Musk expressed his gratitude for Zachary’s service in a post on X.

Vaibhav Taneja’s Journey

The 45-year-old CFO, is a commerce graduate from the University of Delhi who became a part of Tesla’s team following the company’s acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. He studied accountancy at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and became a certified public accountant in 2016. Alongside his primary responsibility as Chief Accounting Officer, he assumed the significant role of “Master of Coin” within the organisation, the company said.

In January 2021, Vaibhav Taneja was also appointed as the director for Tesla’s Indian arm, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited. With more than 20 years of experience in accounting, consulting and tax services in his bag, he has worked with various multinational companies in the field of technology, finance, retail, and telecommunications. Vaibhav Taneja has a rich history at PricewaterhouseCoopers and SolarCity, and now stands as Tesla’s financial linchpin. This change signals a new era for the electric car giant.

tesla chief financial officer cfo vaibhav taneja

Facts About The Newly Appointed CFO

  1. Vaibhav Taneja has been serving as Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer since March 2019.
  2. He has also been serving as the company’s Corporate Controller since May 2018.
  3. He served as the Assistant Corporate Controller between February 2017 and May 2018.
  4. From March 2016, Taneja served in various finance and accounting roles at SolarCity Corporation – a US-based solar panel developer acquired by Tesla in 2016.
  5. Prior to this, he was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers in India and the US between July 1999 and March 2016.

Here’s an interesting thread by Aakash Gupta that deep dives into Vaibhav Taneja’s history, experience and achievements.

As Tesla tries to grow even more, Taneja’s role will be crucial. With this change in structure, everyone is watching to see how Tesla will move forward. Taneja’s’ vast experience in dealing with financials will be key as Tesla faces new challenges in the electric car market.