Elon Musk is entrusting a Chinese executive from Shanghai to control Tesla’s freshly completed Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.
Sources told Bloomberg, President of Tesla China, Tom Zhu, has arrived in Austin to assume his new role at Giga Texas, which is in charge of making Model Y and the upcoming Cybertruck. A Chinese team of engineers has also accompanied Zhu to help him manage the plant.
Joining Tesla in 2014, Zhu has also been the head of Tesla’s Asia Pacific region as he works as head of Tesla China. The people, who requested anonymity, cannot be sure how long Zhu will stay in Austin or whether he will continue his leadership in Asia.
Director James Murdoch testified at a Tesla pay package trial on November 16 that CEO Musk had been eyeing a potential successor for months. However, he did not give any name at the time.
As Bloomberg reported, Musk wanted to boost production at Giga Texas but has also been preoccupied with his new responsibilities at Twitter. Questions about maneuvering between too many roles were inflamed when he bought the social media giant in October.
On November 14, Musk admitted that he had been working seven days a week from morning to night. He said, “I have too much work on my plate, that’s for sure.”
Musk is also the founder of the brain-chip company Neuralink, the tunneling company The Boring, and is the CEO of Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.
Meanwhile, Zhu oversees Tesla’s most significant factory outside of the U.S. in Shanghai. The plant, built in 2020, has swiftly become an important manufacturing center for the automaker.
In November, it shipped 100,291 electric vehicles to consumers in China and other international markets, breaking previous delivery records. In addition, the plant recently expanded, doubling its capacity to almost one million automobiles annually.
Musk has previously criticized American work ethics, saying workers “are trying to avoid going to work,” while hailing Chinese workers for “burning the 3 a.m. oil.”