Tesla flies. Bet won by Musk who chose Zhu as number 2?

There has not yet been a formal announcement by Tesla, but in fact Tom Zhu, who quickly ascended to the Empire called by the divine Elon (Musk), has left his operational roles in China. He today he is effectively the number two, the global vice president and general manager for the Greater China region. The new CEO in China is Wang Hao, according to data provider Qichacha, via CnEVPost. Zhu thus left the Tesla factory in Shanghai, which he has brought to be the most productive in the world, and moved to the headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The man who solves problems

Zhu seems to be the “problem solver,” to quote Pulp Fiction’s Mr. Wolf. A very delicate role in a very thorny phase for number 1. Musk has been grappling with the Twitter grain since October. He sought control of the microblogging app and bought it dearly. In addition to the $44 billion for the acquisition, a major boost to the tumble of the Tesla stockdropped from a top of 1.3 billion dollars to 350 million during 2022. Not to mention his personal assets, which collapsed by as much as 200 billion in a few months, making him lose the status of richest man in the world and perhaps the magic touch.

Elon Musk’s bet

The Tesla stock, however, got off to a good start in 2023: +13% and only +8 in today’s session. Upstream Musk was flooded with criticism, in recent months, and especially in recent weeks. Many investors have attributed to him a large part of the responsibility for Tesla’s decline, also in terms of reputation, given his shamelessness on Twitter. That’s why the tycoon played the Zhu card at the end of 2022, just as they arrived fourth quarter sales figures, record yet below expectations. Born in China and holding a New Zealand passport, Zhu joined Tesla in early 2014 to help build its Supercharger network of ultra-fast charging. Previously, he helped found an international engineering consultancy that served Chinese contractors looking to expand overseas. Lui holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Technology from Auckland University of Technology and later graduated from the MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

A rapid rise in Tesla

Zhu rose quickly at Tesla, Bloomberg said, becoming manager of China operations by the end of his first year at the company. Under his supervision, the Shanghai gigafactory, the company’s first outside the United States, grew at breakneck speed in less than 12 months. Before mass production even started in late 2019, Zhu had been promoted to global vice president and president of Greater China.

In July of last year, he was promoted further to oversee all of Tesla Asia Pacific as the automaker expanded into Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Zhu’s Chinese team also received praise from Musk by working around the clock to keep the Shanghai factory running during the pandemic-related lockdowns. Over the past 12 extraordinarily difficult months, the plant has undergone upgrades to increase production capacity to 1 million battery-powered cars a year. The more than 710,000 cars produced by Tesla in China last year accounted for about 52% of the company’s worldwide production (1.3 million).

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Tesla flies. Bet won by Musk who chose Zhu as number 2?

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