Tesla had been bleeding money for more than a decade when Zach Kirkhorn became finance chief. At the end of a quarterly analysts’ call four years ago, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said his new CFO would be “Zach,” without giving his last name. Some on the call had never heard of him.
Mr. Kirkhorn hasn’t done much to raise his profile since, despite having helped make the electric carmaker into a profit machine. While Mr. Musk, who also runs SpaceX and Twitter, blasts his pronouncements to more than 137 million Twitter followers, Mr. Kirkhorn keeps his account, with 63 followers, locked from public view.