Indian-origin Vaibhav Taneja has been named Tesla's new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). 45-year-old Taneja was appointed after Zachary Kirkhorn stepped down from the position. Taneja is currently also the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) of the electric car manufacturer.
“Tesla thanks Mr Kirkhorn for his significant contributions. Mr Kirkhorn will,” the company wrote in a statement. Tesla described Kirkhorn's 13-year-old tenure as one of “tremendous expansion and growth” and said that he will “continue to serve Tesla through the end of the year to support a seamless transition.”
After a year-long stint at SolarCity, a solar energy company that Tesla acquired in 2016, Taneja joined Tesla in 2017. He served as vice president and later corporate controller at SolarCity.
Between July 1999 and March 2016, Taneja was employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers in both India and the US. In January 2021, he was also appointed as a director for Tesla's Indian arm, Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Limited.
Appointing Taneja to the position is also a strategic move on Tesla's part as the Delhi University graduate has over two decades of experience in accounting, having worked with multinational companies in technology, finance, retail, and telecommunications.
While at Tesla, he has closely worked with former CFOs Deepak Ahuja and Zachary Kirkhorn on the company's quarterly earnings, and US and international controllership. Taneja, who has been serving as Tesla's CAO since March 2019, has served as the company's Corporate Controller from May 2018 to March 2019.
Taneja's appointment comes amid the carmaker's plans to establish a manufacturing plant in the country. In India, Tesla aims to produce a low-cost electric vehicle (EV) priced at $24,000, around 25 per cent cheaper than Tesla's current entry model. Taneja's financial expertise would certainly come in handy in steering the company towards achieving this goal and more.
Tesla is at a phase, where it looks to address challenges and continue to be a leading innovator in the realm of electric mobility.n