Tesla Poaches Google’s Finance VP To Replace Ahuja As CFO

Tesla Poaches Google’s Finance VP To Replace Ahuja As CFO
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, during the third quarter earnings call, announced that Jason Wheeler has been hired as the new CFO of the company. Wheeler was the Vice President of Finance at Google and was seen as a successor to CFO Patrick Pichette.

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Wheeler a good fit for Tesla

Wheeler will replace current CFO Deepak Ahuja, who earlier this year revealed his intentions to retire. To ensure a smooth transition, Ahuja and Wheeler will work together for the remaining year, added Musk. Wheeler was “basically the number two finance guy at Google,” Musk said, adding, “I just thought he was a super smart guy, and really understood what we were doing, and was a great cultural fit for the company.”

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Tesla gave strong delivery guidance, after which the stock swung higher despite that the third quarter results missed Wall Street expectations. For the quarter, the company made revenue of $1.24 billion and saw an adjusted loss of 58 cents per share. Analysts expected revenue of $1.26 billion and a loss of about 50 cents per share. Tesla told investors that it delivered a record 11,603 vehicles in quarter, slightly more than its October estimate of 11,580.

Strong Q4 delivery guidance

Tesla plans to build 15,000 to 17,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter and deliver between 17,000 and 19,000 units. This means the deliveries for the year will be in the range of 50,000 to 52,000. On average, analysts expected about 16,960 deliveries for the fourth quarter. Despite the upbeat guidance, the company acknowledged certain production issues for the current quarter.

In the quarterly shareholder letter, Musk and Ahuja wrote, “The primary limiting factor to higher Q4 deliveries is the near term ramp of Model X production, with the biggest constraint being the supply of components related to the second row monopost seats.” They added that the company and some of its other Model X suppliers are still working on ramping up and fine-tuning production.

In after-hours trading, the company’s shares fell initially, but after the quarterly results had been digested, the company’s stock jumped 10% higher. On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed down 2.54% at $208.35. Year to date, the stock is down by over 6% while in the last one month, it is down by almost 16%.

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