Tesla China chief Tom Zhu promoted to global sales and manufacturing role

The move makes Tom Zhu the highest-profile executive at Tesla after Elon Musk.


In reports from outlets like Reuters, it’s been revealed that Tesla’s (TSLA) China chief, Tom Zhu, has received a rather substantial promotion. Through this promotion, Zhu will now have direct oversight of Tesla’s U.S. assembly plants as well as sales operations in both North America and Europe.

Zhu’s promotion details were uncovered by the aforementioned Reuters who noted it had reviewed an internal posting of reporting lines. It also reviewed the organizational chart posted internally by Tesla before confirming the change with two others who’d reviewed it but asked not to be named.

Outside of Zhu’s promotion, the Tesla posting didn’t reflect any change in Zhu’s current title of vice president for Greater China, with Zhu seemingly retaining his responsibilities as Tesla’s senior executive for sales in Asia. Interestingly, the promotion establishes Zhu as the highest-profile executive at Tesla right after Elon Musk.

Tesla's Tom Zhu speaking at the Shanghai Gigafactory in 2019 in front of a blue Model 3.
© Yilei Sun, Reuters

The Tesla reports show managers now reporting to Zhu including the likes of Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory; Hrushikesh Sagar, senior director of manufacturing at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory; Joe Ward, vice president in charge of regions including Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Troy Jones, vice president of North American sales and service. Furthermore, managers in regions such as China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand will continue to report to Zhu.

Originally born in China, Zhu joined Tesla back in 2014 and has helped oversee a number of complex issues including a two-month COVID lockdown at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory. Reuters reports that Zhu was among “the first batch of employees sleeping in the factory” while seeking to keep it running. Zhu is also described by Reuters as a “no-fuss manager who sports a buzz cut, favors Tesla-branded fleece jackets” and who’s lived in a government-subsidized apartment a mere 10-minute drive from the Shanghai Gigafactory.

For more on Tom Zhu and his recent promotion at Tesla, be sure to read through the full report from Reuters. And for more Tesla-related news, also check out some of our previous coverage including how Tesla delivered 1.31 million vehicles in 2022 missing analyst expectations, and how Elon Musk recently dumped another $3.5 billion of Tesla (TSLA) shares as its stock hit a 52-week low.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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