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Tesla Motors names CFO


http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2008/08/04/daily16.html

Deepak Ahuja, an auto industry finance executive with 15 years experience at Ford Motor Co., was named chief financial officer Monday at Tesla Motors Inc.

The San Carlos-based electric car maker said Ahuja 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.

Before that he was CFO for Ford of Southern Africa, a $3 billion subsidiary. He was also CFO for Auto Alliance International, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda with over $4 billion in revenue.
 

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My guess is that Mr. Ahuja didn't come cheap. His salary going to really increase the burn rate - unless he's been promised an IPO soon and he's being compensated with shares. Only time will tell if Tesla has enough funding to survive. They're only building about 1,800 cars over the next 2 years. Even at $100k a pop, that's only $180M in revenue - with a large chunk of that going to Lotus and their other suppliers. They're also planning on building and licensing their battery pack technologies to other non-automotive companies, which may net them a bit more revenue.

Of course, "the valley way" is not to make money selling product. Silicon Valley folks make money selling stock and then figure out how to make money selling product later on. If they can hold on and have a decent IPO, then Tesla has a fighting chance. However, as it stands now, they've only managed to snag $146M of venture funding - a large chunk of which has been kicked in by their founder, Elon Musk. I'm not sure that's enough to sustain operations for very long.
 

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So Tesla's gone on a hiring spree. Hiring big shot (expensive) executives with experience at huge, multi-national, diversified product companies that have nothing in common with the small company that is Tesla.
 

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Tesla is going through a transformation phase. Eberhard was a great leader for a small company, but running a full-scale automaker requires a completly different leader, which is why they've been hiring experienced automotive employees. Half their engineering staff is from the Big 3, and they are planning on expanding that in the future.

If they ever want to build a full scale plant that could produce Model S they need a manufacturing guru who can implement lean production.
 
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