Elon Musk Just Promoted A Chinese Boss To His Factories

(Republicaninformer.com)- Last week, Reuters reported that Tesla’s vice president for Greater China, Tom Zhu, was promoted to oversee the company’s US assembly plants as well as North American and European sales operations.

The promotion will make Zhu the highest-profile executive after CEO Elon Musk, with direct oversight for deliveries in all of Tesla’s major markets as well as operations at its key production hubs.

The reporting lines for Zhu would make Tesla’s vehicle design and development separate while creating an apparent deputy to Elon Musk on the near-term challenges of managing global sales and output, according to an internal organizational chart provided to Reuters by unnamed sources.

Zhu and his team were brought in by Tesla late last year to troubleshoot US production issues, prompting colleagues to believe he was being prepared for a larger role in the company.

Under Zhu’s leadership, Tesla’s Shanghai plant rebounded strongly from China’s COVID lockdowns.

During the city’s 2-month lockdown, Zhu was one of the workers who slept in the factory as they fought to keep it running, according to people who worked with him.

Based on the organizational chart reviewed by Reuters, the Telsa managers who will be reporting to Zhu include Jason Shawhan, the director of manufacturing at the Gigafactory in Texas, Joe Ward, VP of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and Troy Jones, the VP of North America sales and service.

Additionally, the country managers in Australia, China, Japan, and New Zealand will continue to report to Zhu.

Zhu, a New Zealand citizen who was born in China, joined Tesla in 2014. Before joining the electric vehicle giant, Zhu was a project manager at a company established by his Duke University MBA classmates that advises Chinese contractors working on infrastructure projects in Africa.

Tesla reported in late December that the company delivered 405,278 vehicles in the fourth quarter, an increase over the previous year, but short of Wall Street estimates. In the fourth quarter of 2022, Tesla delivered 308,600 vehicles.