Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
InternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyIn February, Musk revealed he would be appointing a successor for his company Tesla by the end of 2023, and would announce said succession via Twitter, a company which he also owns. Tesla is rumored to have found a potential successor for CEO Elon Musk as board members are reportedly betting on CFO Zach Kirkhorn to take the reins at the automotive company, new reports have detailed.Kirkhorn’s name was reportedly thrown into a potential CEO list last year while the company was dealing with a lawsuit from a Tesla shareholder claiming Musk’s 2018 compensation plan was “beyond the bounds of reasonable judgment,” and that the $44 billion payout allowed Musk the ability to focus his attention elsewhere, such as his buyout of Twitter.US media reported Kirkhorn allegedly won the top spot by staying in Musk’s shadow and being willing to “share the bad news.”“He doesn’t take the limelight from Elon,” said Kurt Kelty, a vice president at battery-materials company Sila and former senior director of battery technology at Tesla.Tesla insiders and staff reportedly said Kirkhorn is able to “share the bad news even louder and faster than the good news” with Musk, a method of communication the CEO prefers. The CFO has also been seen as a mediator between Musk and other Tesla employees, as Musk has been rumored to be an explosive employer to work for, a rumor which he has denied.Kirkhorn and Musk both studied similar fields at the same school as each other—the University of Pennsylvania, which has given the two a shared language, according to reports.Reports have suggested the relationship between Kirkhorn and Musk can be compared to the same partnership as Steve Jobs and his successor Tim Cook. While Musk works as the visionary, Kirkhorn is reportedly careful that his lofty ideas are fine-tuned.
“Predictability is everything with a CFO,” former Tesla board member Steve Westly said. “What you can’t do is surprise people, and he has not surprised people.”
Kirkhorn, who has worked for over a decade at the company, has also pulled his weight in managing Tesla. After coming on board, the CFO reportedly saved Tesla from hemorrhaging money for more than a decade.
Before Kirkhorn was promoted to his role as CFO, Tesla was valued at about $50 billion, the company is now valued at over $500 billion.The latest comes after Musk revealed earlier Thursday that he will be stepping down as the CEO of Twitter, a role which he acquired in October of 2022 when he purchased the social media platform to the tune of $44 billion. He will be announcing the new CEO in just six weeks.
Beyond PoliticsElon Musk Reveals New Twitter CEO Will Take Over Post in Six Weeks20:32 GMT