Out to prove that they're the "next great American automobile company," Tesla Motors has hired an ex-Ford executive as their new Chief Financial Officer. Deepak Ahuja was at FoMoCo for 15 years, having last worked on a strategic effort to bring more efficient Euro models over to the US market. Dipping deeper into the Ford well, Telsa has also hired the head of Mazda's design studios in Irvine, CA, Franz von Holzhausen, as their new lead designer.
Franz will be tasked with shaping Tesla's future Model S sedan and sport compact, and if his work on the Mazda Furai concept is any indication, the next generation of Teslas should be lookers. Of course, this is all assuming the company can live up to its ambitions and actually survive long enough to produce vehicles beyond the existing roadster.
SAN CARLOS, CA - Deepak Ahuja, a seasoned auto industry finance executive with 15 years experience at Ford Motor Company, has joined Tesla Motors as Chief Financial Officer.[Tesla Motors, Motor Authority]
Deepak was previously the controller for Ford's small cars product development program, a strategic initiative to bring several fuel efficient cars to Ford's lineup in the United States. Previously, Deepak was CFO for Ford of Southern Africa, a $3 Billion subsidiary where he oversaw the finance, legal and IT functions. Prior to that, Deepak served as CFO for Auto Alliance International, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda with over $4 billion in revenue.
"Deepak's experience as CFO of multi-billion dollar business units with global sourcing and manufacturing operations makes him the ideal person to lead our finance organization through the company's next period of rapid growth," said Tesla CEO Ze'ev Drori. "The addition of another seasoned auto industry executive to the senior management team at Tesla demonstrates that Tesla is focused on combining the best of what Detroit and Silicon Valley has to offer in building the next great American automobile company."
"The opportunity to work for the leading alternative energy automobile company in the world, and one with as strong a brand as Tesla, is very exciting." said Deepak. "The team here has the vision, passion and the determination to make Tesla a driving force of change."
Deepak holds bachelors and masters degrees in Materials Engineering from Banaras Hindu University and Northwestern University, respectively and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Deepak, his wife and two daughters have moved from Michigan to Silicon Valley, where Deepak will work out of Tesla's San Carlos headquarters.
Recently, Tesla Motors announced the appointment of auto industry veteran Mike Donoughe as EVP Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing.