Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler Stepping Down

9 months ago by Steven Loveday 5

Former Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja will reclaim his position upon Jason Wheeler's departure in April.

Former Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja will reclaim his position upon Jason Wheeler’s departure in April.

One of many pieces of news that came out of this week’s Tesla fourth-quarter earnings call, was CEO Elon Musk’s announcement that Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler has decided to leave the company.

Departing CFO Jason Wheeler spent 13 years as Vice President of Finance at Google, prior to moving to Tesla.

Wheeler has taken an interest in projects related to public policy, and he has decided to step down to pursue his interests. After spending 13 years as Vice President of Finance at Google, he came to Tesla as CFO in November of 2015. He plans to depart at the end of April. Wheeler explained:

“I’m looking to scratch an itch that I had for many, many years now. I will go do something in the public sector, but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable about leaving if we didn’t have a really good plug-and-play solution in place for the company.”

The quote is in reference to former CFO, Deepak Ahuja. Ahuja will come back to Tesla to reclaim his role upon Wheeler’s departure.

Ahuja is surely the best person for the job, as he was Tesla’s CFO for over seven years, prior to Wheeler’s appointment. Ahuja served in the role from August 2008 to November 2015, making him top on the list of the company’s most tenured top brass at the time. Ahuja left Tesla to “retire,” but has since explored other careers. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a director at FireEye, and involved with cybersecurity.

Apparently, since Ahuja never actually retired, he is eager to return to the electric automaker in the coming months.

Tesla release a statement on the senior management change as well:

CFO Jason Wheeler to Depart in April to Pursue Opportunities in Public Policy

Deepak Ahuja Will Return as CFO

Tesla today announced that CFO Jason Wheeler has decided to leave the company in April to pursue opportunities in public policy. Jason will be replaced by Deepak Ahuja, who was Tesla’s first CFO and worked for the company for more than seven years before stepping away in 2015. Deepak will formally take over as CFO in early March, with Jason remaining at Tesla through early April to ensure a smooth transition.

With his many years of experience at a high-volume automaker like Ford and his deep institutional knowledge of Tesla, Deepak will help Tesla continue to scale as it prepares to launch Model 3.

Jason made a number of significant contributions at Tesla, including leading the company to a profitable third quarter last year, significantly improving the company’s cash position, helping to lead the acquisition of SolarCity, and preparing Tesla to scale for the launch of Model 3.

“Jason has been a key member of Tesla’s leadership team, and he has played an important role in further improving the company’s financial position,” said Tesla co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk. “I want to thank Jason and wish him success as he moves into public policy. Looking ahead, we’re pleased to have Deepak join us again to ensure a seamless transition for Tesla.”

“It’s been an honor to work for such an incredible company,” Wheeler said. “After spending the last 15 years helping to make information accessible to everyone and to advance sustainable energy, I’m looking forward to continuing to champion these causes and others from a public policy perspective.“

“It is a very important time in the history of Tesla, and I’m excited to be back,” Ahuja said. “This is a unique opportunity to rejoin the talented and driven team at Tesla. Every day they are working passionately to significantly improve the long-term future of humanity.”

Source: Business Insider

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5 responses to "Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler Stepping Down"

  1. ffbj says:

    Good luck to him in his pursuits to aid humanity, which is sorely in need of same.

  2. Ambulator says:

    Deepak is reportedly getting $15 million to come back. That’s bound to support union sentiment.

    1. Rob Stark says:

      In stock options vested over four years.

      All Tesla full time employees get stock options.

      Elon has exercised billions in stock options.

      JB has a net work of $67M. It is the Silicon Valley way.

  3. Four Electrics says:

    The 10-K was a lot of work given how lean Tesla runs (little support staff), and he doesn’t want to raise even more capital in a few months. The balance sheet looks like the Titanic. He doesn’t need the hassle.