Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler leaves post at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After about a year on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Wheeler
  • Deepak Ahuja taking over
  • $15 million new hire equity grant for Ahuja
  • Wheeler said 45 words

(management-change.com) — Palo Alto, California, February 24, 2017 — Jason Wheeler, finance chief of Tesla, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Tesla, Inc. in a news release published on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, February 24, 2017, Jason Wheeler leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the carmaker in a surprising move after about a year on the job, effective in early March.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Wheeler leaves the company effective in April.

Wheeler’s duties are taken over by Deepak Ahuja, a former Chief Financial Officer at Tesla, Inc.

“To pursue opportunities in public policy”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. Tesla said: “Jason Wheeler has decided to leave the company in April to pursue opportunities in public policy.”


Tesla said: “On February 21, 2017, Jason Wheeler, Chief Financial Officer of Tesla, Inc. …, notified the Company that he is resigning as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, effective following the filing of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.”

Precise information about the future plans of Wheeler was not immediately available.

Chaired by Elon Musk

Tesla, Inc. is chaired by Elon Musk.

Musk is a Co-Founder of Tesla Motors, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since October 2008 and serves its Product Architect.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Jason S. Wheeler has been the Chief Financial Officer of Tesla Motors, Inc., since November 30, 2015.

He joined Tesla after 13 years at Google Inc. where he was Vice President of Finance and led Google’s global finance function.

Wheeler served as the Vice President of Finance at Alphabet Inc.

Wheeler joined Alphabet Inc., in 2002 where he was responsible for the finance business partnerships with all functions and regions, as well as leading Google’s forecasting, management reporting and financial analysis efforts.

He built and managed FP&A team and served as Head of Finance for EMEA operations, where his responsibilities covered all financial functions including accounting & controls, financial operations and FP&A.

He held various financial analyst positions at Hewlett Packard and was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton for a variety of companies in the communications, media and technology industries.

He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Colorado State University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

At the time of Wheeler’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Tesla, Wheeler had said: “What the Tesla team has achieved in building compelling alternatives in transport and energy is simply incredible. I am so excited to join an amazing team dedicated to such a broad and inspiring mission. Looking forward to jumping into the fast lane.”

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Jason Wheeler’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by management-change.com suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the management-change.com report 09.2017 ($).