In what may have been a very surprising update in the recent Tesla invitations held in the fourth quarter of 2018, long-term CFO Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the company. It was saved by Zach Kirkhorn, vice president of the finance department of the electric car manufacturer, who had been with Tesla since the time of the original Roadster.
The retirement announcement of the legendary CFO was close to the end of Q4 earnings, with CEO Elon Musk expressing his thanks to the CEO for his contributions to the company. Deepak also thanked Tesla and stated that the company undoubtedly has the best team in the industry. Despite the fact that Deepak has left his job, he has a role to play in this society. Elon Musk, however, claims he will continue to serve as "senior adviser" for "probably next years".
This does not mean that Deepak left Tesla in tight situations. The company posted its second profitable quarter in a row, and the production of Model 3 reached the point where the vehicle could be delivered to international markets. During his earnings call, Deepak said he was optimistic about Zach taking his place.
"I feel really good if Zach took over, he proved his own self over the years with the many challenging challenges he worked for," he said.
Incoming CFO Tesla echoed Deepak's views. During a recent call, Zach said he was looking forward to shrinking the company's energy business.
"I was deep in running all the important Roadster programs to change our energy business and other things, and I feel we're starting with a very strong financial base in 2019. We have enough money to start new programs and develop new technology, "he said.
This is not the first time Deepak Ahuja has left Tesla. In 2015, the financial veteran announced his departure from the manufacturer of electric cars. He was replaced by Jason Wheeler, formerly Vice President of Finance at Google, who later left the Tesla Finance Director's office to pursue public sector interests. After deviating from Wheeler, Deepak retired to fill CFO Tesla's full-time position.
Deepak Ahuja has been one of Tesla's key leaders and since then has been with the company. Prior to his employment with the electric car manufacturer in 2008 he had a fairly comfortable position in Ford. In a presentation to graduates at Northwestern University, his alma mater, Deepak pointed out that it was Elon Musk's vision, which eventually encouraged him to join Tesla.
"Meeting with Elon Musk and understanding his idea of Tesla was a changing moment in my life. I felt the desire for this opportunity as I did not feel," he said.
As the first CFO, Tesla was one of the key managers who helped the company to get through financial troubles in 2008. Finally, Tesla helped with a successful IPO. Finally, Deepak Ahuja's contributions to society are remarkable and it would not be a stretch to claim that Tesla will not be where it is today without the legendary work of the Chief Financial Officer.
Together with Tesla's Q4 results in 2018, Deepak's departure seems to have been negatively adopted on Wall Street. Since the listing, Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) decreased by 4.68% and traded at $ 294.80.