• Aug 5th 2008 at 8:27AM
  • 12
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Tesla Roadster.

Tesla Motors continues its hiring spree by bringing on Deepak Ahuja to serve as the company's CFO. Ahuja comes by way of the Ford Motor Company, where he was heading up the project to bring small European Ford's to America. Prior to that, Ahuja carried various other important financial roles with Ford and Mazda. Tesla's goal of becoming "the next great American automobile company" is a brash one, but much more likely to pan out with the proper people at the helm. Considering the rate at which Tesla Motors has been bringing on talent, including the recent addition of Franz von Holzhausen as Design Director, it is clear that the budding automaker takes its goal rather seriously. See the full press release after the break.

[Source: Tesla Motors]


Deepak Ahuja, Seasoned Auto Industry Finance Executive, Joins Tesla Motors as CFO

SAN CARLOS, CA – Deepak Ahuja, a seasoned auto industry finance executive with 15 years experience at Ford Motor Company, has joined Tesla Motors as Chief Financial Officer.

Deepak 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. Previously, Deepak was CFO for Ford of Southern Africa, a $3 Billion subsidiary where he oversaw the finance, legal and IT functions. Prior to that, Deepak served as CFO for Auto Alliance International, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda with over $4 billion in revenue.

"Deepak's experience as CFO of multi-billion dollar business units with global sourcing and manufacturing operations makes him the ideal person to lead our finance organization through the company's next period of rapid growth," said Tesla CEO Ze'ev Drori. "The addition of another seasoned auto industry executive to the senior management team at Tesla demonstrates that Tesla is focused on combining the best of what Detroit and Silicon Valley has to offer in building the next great American automobile company."

"The opportunity to work for the leading alternative energy automobile company in the world, and one with as strong a brand as Tesla, is very exciting." said Deepak. "The team here has the vision, passion and the determination to make Tesla a driving force of change."

Deepak holds bachelors and masters degrees in Materials Engineering from Banaras Hindu University and Northwestern University, respectively and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Deepak, his wife and two daughters have moved from Michigan to Silicon Valley, where Deepak will work out of Tesla's San Carlos headquarters.

Recently, Tesla Motors announced the appointment of auto industry veteran Mike Donoughe as EVP Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing. The press release of the previous announcement can be found on Tesla's website.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      In Related News: the new Ford-sourced CFO recommends Tesla bring Ex-Tyco CEO Dennis Koslowski in out of 'retirement' for a top management position as: Executive VP, COO, or Elon Musk's Coffee Table! Kim Jong Il concurs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pete, so what car from Europ did he bring?

      Also, it is easy to say ohhh just bring these sexy cars to US and they will sell. It's been tried, and failed. Example, Pontiac had that muscle car (i forgot the name) a few years ago from Australia...a total failure. Now they have G8(also from Australia), last week Auto News reported that GM offers an incentive on it. GM has Aura and Astra (neither sells well) and remember Ford had Mercur (Bob Lutz gave it to us) and what happened there?

      • 7 Years Ago

      This is it for Tesla, next year they will be making SUVs that catch fire and barbecues for four (Pinto).

      Look seriously, It is clear that Ford lacks talent, this guy is not some low ranking exec who is blameless as far as current situation goes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Ahuja comes by way of the Ford Motor Company, where he was heading up the project to bring small European Ford's to America."

        Actually, it sounds like this guy was part of the solution...not the problem.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tesla - Why do I have an eerie feeling of the Tucker, pt II
        • 7 Years Ago
        Now that's a scary thought.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Carnegie Mellon University ... represent!
        • 7 Years Ago

        Look all these fancy Universities mean a lot, but not as much as some imply. Example, Rick Wagoner, Duke and MBA from Harvard, that man does not know what he is doing, AT ALL.

        And of course do not forget, George W. Bush, Yale and MBA from Harvard (that admissions exam must be real easy)
        • 7 Years Ago

        You get into those positions by knowing the right people.
        Surely you are not suggesting Bush Jr. is smart. It doesn't matter if you're a democrat, republican or independant; one thing we can agree on is this guy is missing quite a few screws.
        • 7 Years Ago

        I agree that big name universities mean little in the real world, but your examples are quite lacking. Both of those men have accomplished a lot in their life. You don't have to like them, but trust me, you don't get to those positions by being an idiot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mike, you are mixing your comparisons.
      If your complaint is that cars from Europe won't sell here, why do use two from Australia as examples?
      And while the Saturn Astra is a European import, the Aura is not.
      And the Astra's problem is not that it's European, it's that it is expensive.
      Ford's plan is not to import actual vehicles from Europe, but to take their designs and build them here, where it's cheaper. They did that with the Focus and its been very successful for them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      With all the Detroit execs being handed their pink slips, I'd imagine several startup auto firms will get some pretty decent talent on the cheap. Even so, can Tesla AFFORD a Ford exec's experience? A Ford exec +Tesla = :

      Battery powered Panther platforms (hey, there's life left in that 1979 chassis) -going after the taxi market.

      Low interest financing for 500 Fico borrowers, destined for payment default.

      Leases with low residuals -Tesla takes massive losses. It's OK though, Tesla can just sell a division or two to make up for it. Oh wait, no they can't.

      Bad UAW deals, Bad Health Care pension Deals, Bad PAG deals.

      "Experience" in talking with Bankruptcy Attorneys

      "Experience" in shafting your suppliers (International).

      "Experience" in crisis management (Explorer/Firestone).

      Can hook Tesla up with all the right "government bailout" types, you know, just in case.

      Cheap interiors referred to as "simple" and "straightforward" in advertisements.

      Perhaps a retro design with the gas tank unsafely mounted in the rear resulting in explosions upon rear-end collisions -its OK though, it's a profitable design. Called the Tesla Punto.

      Isn't Bill Ford looking for a job?

      I'm a Ford owner myself, and I really enjoy the product (supercharged Mustang). But, I couldn't help wondering if having Ford on your resume actually helped him get the job. Hell, even Ford didn't hire a CEO from the Detroit circles. Sorry Ford, I had too much sugar in my coffee. That, and my garage still smells a bit like raw gas because you can't seem to fix my warrantied 'Stang...