Tesla's 'Master of Coin' Steps Down as CFO: Kirkhorn's Departure Marks Management Shift
Zachary Kirkhorn, the longtime Chief Financial Officer of Tesla, has announced his resignation from the role he held for the past four and a half years. Kirkhorn will continue to be part of the company until the end of 2023 to aid in the smooth transition to the new CFO.
Kirkhorn gained the moniker "Master of Coin" in 2021, following Tesla's significant entry into the cryptocurrency space with a colossal $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin.
Vaibhav Taneja, the current Chief Accounting Officer at Tesla, is set to take over from Kirkhorn. Kirkhorn, who joined Tesla in 2010, expressed his gratitude and pride for the time he spent at the company. He thanked his colleagues and CEO Elon Musk for their support throughout his tenure.
While Kirkhorn did not reveal the specific reasons behind his decision to step down or provide details about his future endeavors, his legacy will include managing Tesla's financial strategies during challenging periods such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kirkhorn's informal title, "Master of Coin," was bestowed upon him after Tesla made a substantial investment of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in 2021 and expressed intentions to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. This move was complemented by CEO Elon Musk's playful self-designation as "Technoking."
Although Tesla held onto its Bitcoin reserves for about a year and a half, the company sold 75% of its holdings in July of the previous year. Musk clarified that this decision did not reflect a lack of confidence in Bitcoin; rather, it aimed to offset burgeoning production costs in China. Tesla has retained the remaining BTC assets, making it one of the prominent corporate holders of the digital currency.
Tesla briefly embraced Bitcoin as a payment option for its vehicles in March 2021. However, it suspended this offering shortly afterward due to concerns over the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, specifically the increased use of fossil fuels.
As the "Master of Coin" steps aside and Tesla's management transitions, the electric vehicle giant continues to play a significant role in the cryptocurrency and financial landscapes.