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Why Is Wheeler Leaving Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as CFO?

Elon Musk Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) and SolarCity Corp (SCTY)

Jason Wheeler has decided to step down as chief financial officer of Tesla Inc , according to a new filing.

Wheeler, who was named as CFO in November 2015, informed the company about his decision on February 21, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed on Tuesday.

Wheeler’s resignation will become effective in April. He will remain with the company through early April to ensure a smooth transition, Tesla added.

In addition, Tesla announced that it named Deepak Ahuja to replace Wheeler. Ahuja was the company’s first CFO. He worked for the company for more than seven years before resigning in 2015.

Reason for Wheeler’s Departure

Wheeler is leaving Tesla to pursue opportunities in public policy, according to the filing.

Tesla said in a statement that Wheeler made a number of contributions to the company. He led the company to a profitable third quarter last year and significantly improved the company’s cash position. Most importantly, he helped to lead the acquisition of SolarCity, and prepare Tesla to scale for the launch of Model 3, according to the company.

“Jason has been a key member of Tesla’s leadership team, and he has played an important role in further improving the company’s financial position,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated.

“I want to thank Jason and wish him success as he moves into public policy,” Musk added.

Wheeler commented: “After spending the last 15 years helping to make information accessible to everyone and to advance sustainable energy, I’m looking forward to continuing to champion these causes and others from a public policy perspective.“

Ahuja Rejoining Tesla

Ahuja, 54, served as the company’s CFO from July 2008 until November 2015. He is now rejoining the electric car maker to replace Wheeler.

Ahuja will formally take over as CFO in early March. He has also served on the board of directors of FireEye, a network security company, since September 2015.

“With his many years of experience at a high-volume automaker like Ford and his deep institutional knowledge of Tesla, Deepak will help Tesla continue to scale as it prepares to launch Model 3,” the company said in the filing.

Elon Musk Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) and SolarCity Corp (SCTY)

Ahuja will get an annual base salary of $500,000 and will receive a $15 million new hire equity grant, which will be granted and will vest over four years in accordance with the Company’s standard equity policies.

He will also be eligible to participate in the compensation and benefits programs generally available to Tesla’s employees. His employment has no specified term and will be on an at-will basis.

“This is a unique opportunity to rejoin the talented and driven team at Tesla. Every day they are working passionately to significantly improve the long-term future of humanity,” Ahuja said in a statement.

In other news, Tesla said that it will finalize locations for three more Gigafactories later this year. Also, the luxury carmaker is working on projects to become the world’s ultimate household and business energy brand.

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