PingWest, a media publication, reported today that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has decided to promote the President of Tesla China Tom Zhu Xiaotong to the position of global CEO for the electric automaker. The information supposedly comes from “people familiar with the situation.”
Zhu’s successes at Tesla have been especially notable in China, where he has helped increase sales exponentially. He was key to developing Giga Shanghai, which is now Tesla’s primary export hub. In addition, the president of Tesla China worked to establish Service Centers throughout the country.
Zhu didn’t initially join Tesla in 2014 as the automaker’s president in China. Instead, he started as the director of Tesla’s Supercharger program. However, it wasn’t long until Zhu was promoted to Global Vice President and President of China for Tesla Motors.
Some recent trial information showed that Musk had made the Tesla board aware of a possible successor for the CEO position. Although it was unclear what this meant, some media outlets believed it could signal that Musk planned to step down as CEO in the future.
Musk has said in the past that he never really aspired to be the Tesla CEO, however, there was nobody else at the time who could fill those shoes. Now that he’s also taken on the role of CEO for Twitter, it is Musk’s hope to find someone to replace him in his previous position.
As of now, we are unaware of Musk’s plans to resign as CEO of Tesla. If he is planning something, we don’t know when he’ll follow through on it. He recently acquired Twitter and is running the company–leaving him even more busy than before. In addition to that, he is also SpaceX’S CEO.
While there could be many reasons behind Tesla’s stock decline this year, one theory is that it began when Musk started selling large amounts of his personal shares. First, he sold to pay taxes, and later to buy Twitter.
In the past, the CEO has said on multiple occasions that he’s always the first one in and last one out of the office. He also made a few comments this year about how he was done selling his Tesla shares, but then sold more at a later date. Some investors and analysts have lacking confidence in Tesla as a brand due to Musk’s stock sales history.
We will have to wait and see if we learn more about Tom Zhu Xiaotong’s potential to become Tesla’s upcoming global CEO.