Zachary Kirkhorn is stepping down as chief financial officer and “Master of Coin” at Tesla, he announced today on LinkedIn. Kirkhorn, who has served for 13 years at Tesla, four of which as CFO, will be replaced by chief accounting officer Vaibhav Taneja.
“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. “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”
He added, “I also want to thank Elon for his leadership and optimism, which has inspired so many people.” Kirkhorn did not give a reason for his decision to step down.
(Kirkhorn also held the cheeky title “Master of Coin,” a Game of Thrones reference, along with Elon Musk’s “Technoking” title.)
As CFO, Kirkhorn helped steer the company through uncertain waters following the “production hell” of the Tesla Model 3, which nearly bankrupted the firm. His first year as CFO was marked by record sales numbers for the company that has come to define the massive shift to electric vehicles.
He also oversaw Tesla’s first annual profit, as well as subsequent profitable years, which helped establish the car maker as one of the most valuable in the industry.
Taneja joined the company after Tesla acquired SolarCity in 2016, where he worked as a vice president of accounting operations and corporate controller. Tesla shareholders sued Elon Musk and the company over the acquisition, calling it a bailout. In 2022, a judge in Delaware ruled in favor of Musk.
Taneja held several roles at Tesla before becoming chief accounting officer in March 2019.