Tom Zhu, the head of China for Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O), has been elevated to oversee directly both the company’s North American and European sales activities as well as its U.S. manufacturing plants for electric vehicles.
The Tesla posting revealed that as of Tuesday, Zhu still held the position of vice president for the authority over Greater China and continued to be the company’s top executive responsible for sales in the rest of Asia.
With direct control over deliveries in all of Tesla’s primary markets and the functioning of its key production hubs, Zhu is now the company’s most visible executive after CEO Elon Musk.
While providing an ostensible deputy to Musk for the more immediate issues of managing worldwide 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.
A request for clarification from Tesla was not immediately complied with.
Two persons who had seen the organisational chart that Tesla had internally released and evaluated confirmed the change. They requested anonymity since they weren’t allowed to talk about the situation.
When Zhu and a group of his subordinates were hired by Tesla late in 2022 to investigate problems with American production, his coworkers assumed he was being prepared for a greater position.
Zhu’s elevation to a worldwide position comes at a time when Tesla investors and analysts have sought action that would strengthen the senior management bench and enable Musk to focus on Tesla.
Musk has been side-tracked by his acquisition of Twitter.
Tesla’s Shanghai facility under Zhu successfully recovered from China’s COVID lockdowns.
Statistics gathered by Refinitiv suggested Tesla reported on Monday that it had produced 405,278 cars in the fourth quarter, falling short of Wall Street expectations.
308,600 vehicles had been delivered by the corporation during the same time last year.
A detailed review of the Tesla notice on reporting lines claimed the Tesla managers who report to Zhu are Troy Jones, the vice president of North America services and sales, Joe Ward, the vice president in charge of hotspots like 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.
The note stated that Zhu remained the primary point of contact for Tesla’s country administrators in China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Zhu does not report directly to anyone at Tesla’s still-growing Berlin facility, but a source with knowledge of the situation said Ward in Amsterdam would be responsible for that operation.
Ward couldn’t be reached right away for comment.
Zhu, a New Zealander citizen who was born in China, started working at Tesla in 2014. Prior to that, he worked as a project manager for a business founded by his Duke University MBA classmates, providing guidance to Chinese contractors engaged in infrastructure African projects.
Zhu was one of the first workers to sleep at the factory during Shanghai’s two-month-long COVID lockdown as they attempted to keep it operational, according to those who work with him.
Zhu, a no-nonsense manager with a buzz cut, like fleece jacket with the Tesla logo and previously resided in a government-subsidized flat that was 10 minutes away from the Shanghai Gigafactory.
It was unclear right away if he would relocate after receiving his promotion.
He assumes control of Tesla’s key production facilities as the company prepares to introduce Cybertruck and a redesigned Model 3 sedan. Tesla has also stated that it is working on a less expensive electric vehicle, but it has not revealed any other information.