GM has hired former Tesla executive Zach Kirkman to help accelerate its electric vehicle strategy, GM’s Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson announced in a LinkedIn post. Jacobson made the announcement on Monday, January 30th, 2023.
Kirkman’s career saw him working at Apple from 2008 to 2014 in finance and corporate development. 2016 saw him earn an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, after which he went on to work for Tesla, getting a position with the EV maker in August 2016.
While at Tesla, Kirkman became the Head of Corporate Development, Mergers & Acquisitions. In welcoming Kirkman to GM, CFO Paul Jacobson highlighted his “extensive background assessing and executing M&A, evaluating and managing minority investments, evaluating unique supply chain situations, as well as leading special projects.”
Leaving Tesla in December 2022 after six years and five months on the job, Kirkman will segue into filling much the same role at GM. His new position at General Motors is Vice President, Corporate Development and Global Mergers & Acquisitions.
Jacobson describes Kirkman as a “true auto enthusiast” who “has always had GM running through his veins,” citing Kirkman’s restoration of a 1968 Buick Wildcat as his first personal vehicle. The GM CFO added that Kirkman’s “breadth of experience will undoubtedly be as an asset” as General Motors aims for “a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.”
Kirkman joined the GM executive team as the company pushes forward vigorously with its electrification plans. The General intends to offer 30 EV models in its lineup by 2025, or within the next two years. Out of these models, approximately 20 will be available in North America. If this initiative is successful, EVs will comprise 40 percent of GM’s models by mid-decade.
Longer-term, GM plans to eliminate all tailpipe emissions by 2035, meaning 100 percent of the vehicle models it offers must be electric at that point. It specified this zero-emissions pledge includes light-duty trucks as well.
The company also means to go fully carbon neutral. It originally meant to achieve net-zero operations by 2040, but recently accelerated its timetable by five years. GM now says it will use 100 percent renewable energy as the power source for all of its U.S. facilities by 2030 and extend this policy to its international plants by 2035.