What Elon Musk Said about Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja’s Retirement


Feb. 1 2019, Updated 3:45 p.m. ET


In the previous part of this series, we looked at investors’ reaction to electric carmaker Tesla’s (TSLA) fourth quarter of 2018 earnings report. In the final two days of January, its stock was on a roller-coaster ride after the results. Investors’ (QQQ) initial positive reaction to the company’s fourth-quarter results turned negative (SPY) after its CEO Elon Musk during the fourth-quarter earnings conference call revealed that Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja is about to retire from the company. Let’s take a look at more details on what Elon Musk said during the call on his retirement.

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Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja’s retirement

On the quarterly earnings conference call, Musk started his closing remarks by saying that he wants Ahuja “to make the announcement, but Deepak is going to be retiring.”

Musk thanked Ahuja for serving the company for nearly 11 years, saying “Thank you for your tremendous contribution to Tesla.” However, he also added that Ahuja will “continue to be at Tesla for a few more months and will continue to serve as a senior advisor to Tesla for probably years to come hopefully.”

Later Musk also informed investors that Tesla’s current vice president of finance, Zach Kirkhorn, would be replacing Ahuja after his retirement in the coming months.

Analysts’ reaction

Many notable analysts from various research firms and investment banks reacted negatively to the news of Ahuja’s departure from Tesla. According to a CNBC report, AB Bernstein analyst called Ahuja’s retirement a “significant loss of institutional knowledge,” while a Goldman Sachs analyst noted that “the changeover may cause some uncertainty for investors.”

Nonetheless, if the company continues to grow in the coming quarters and manages to sustain profitability, investors’ fret about big change over at Tesla might subside.

Continue to the next part where we’ll take a look at Tesla’s fourth-quarter revenues.


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