BEIJING: According to sources, Tom Zhu, the CEO of Tesla Inc. in China, has been promoted to assume direct control over the US assembly plants and sales operations of the electric vehicle manufacturer in North America and Europe.
According to the Tesla advertisement, Zhu still held the position of vice president for Greater China and continued to be the company's top sales officer for the rest of Asia as of Tuesday. With direct control over deliveries in all of Tesla's primary markets and the operations of its key production hubs, Zhu is now the company's most visible executive after CEO Elon Musk.
While providing an apparent deputy to Musk for the more immediate issues of managing global sales and output, Zhu's reporting lines would maintain the separation of Tesla's car design and development, both of which sectors Musk has been extensively involved in.
Tesla had posted an internal organisational chart, which Reuters reviewed. Two people who had seen it confirmed the change to Reuters. Since they were not allowed to address the topic, they requested that their names not be used.
Tesla hired Zhu and a group of his reports late last year to investigate production problems in the United States, which led his coworkers to believe that he was being prepared for a higher position. The appointment of Zhu to a global position comes at a time when Tesla analysts and investors have urged action that would deepen the senior executive bench and enable Musk to concentrate on Tesla. Musk has been sidetracked by his purchase of Twitter.
Tesla's Shanghai facility under Zhu had a significant recovery following China's COVID lockdowns. According to information gathered by Refinitiv, Tesla reported on Monday that it had delivered 405,278 vehicles in the fourth quarter, less than Wall Street expectations. In the same period a year prior, the company had delivered 308,600 vehicles.
According to the Tesla notice on reporting lines examined by Reuters, the Tesla managers reporting to Zhu are Troy Jones, vice president of North American sales and service, Joe Ward, vice president in charge of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at the Texas Gigafactory, Hrushikesh Sagar, senior director of manufacturing at the Fremont factory, and Joe Ward.
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