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Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is down 1% today on news that Tesla Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Zach Kirkhorn has stepped down from the role after more than four years. According to the electric vehicle (EV) maker, Chief Accounting Officer Vaibhav Taneja has already taken over Kirkhorn’s reigns as of Aug. 4. Taneja has been a part of Musk’s team of executives since 2016 when he joined SolarCity as vice president of accounting operations.
Kirkhorn played a crucial role in the company’s staggering growth over the past few years, overseeing Tesla’s increased production timetable through the launch of several new models. Kirkhorn was especially known for his ability to communicate with Musk, considered an enigmatic figure within his companies. The departure is especially surprising given the upcoming launch of the Tesla Cybertruck, set to hit the market later this year.
Some even put Kirhorn on the shortlist of potential successors for Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, who has been splitting his time between Tesla, SpaceX and X, formerly Twitter. Tesla’s board of directors had even discussed just such a possibility back in May.
“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 wrote in a LinkedIn post.
TSLA Stock Sinks on CFO Departure
Kirkhorn’s resignation comes as an unexpected mixup in the ranks of Tesla leadership. Indeed, Tesla is infamous for the historically quick turnover of its executives, a phenomenon that had seemingly slowed in recent years. If you recall, more than a dozen senior executives left Tesla around the company’s bumpy launch of the Model 3 sedan.
The Cybertruck represents the first new model consumer-centric vehicle launch in three years. The anticipation surrounding the pickup has reached astronomical levels, with more than 1.5 million pre-orders — and climbing.
TSLA stock has also experienced tremendous growth under Kirkhorn’s leadership. Indeed, shares are up more than 700% since the start of 2020, bolstered by the company’s ceaseless quest to become the world’s largest automaker. TSLA is up 132% year-to-date.
On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.