Drone delivery and logistics startup Zipline has hired Indian-origin former Tesla veteran Deepak Ahuja as its first chief business and financial officer.
Ahuja, who is leaving his job as CFO at Alphabet’s healthcare unit Verily Life Sciences, will start in the new role at Zipline from September 30.
“Rarely do I see this level of disruption and impact paired with the world-class technology that Zipline’s team is building,” Ahuja said in a statement late on Friday.
“The company’s instant logistics solution was born out of a deep understanding of what their customers need, and has already delivered incredible value to people around the world by saving lives, time, money and reducing the environmental impact of deliveries on the planet,” he added.
Zipline designs, manufactures and operates the world’s largest instant logistics and delivery system for businesses, governments and consumers.
Prior to Verily (which just raised $1 billion led by Alphabet), Ahuja was the CFO of Tesla where, among many things, he oversaw the company’s rise to profitability.
With his exit from Tesla in 2019, Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk suffered a jolt as he planned to bring his electric cars to India.
Ahuja flew to India a couple of times, seeking to know from the government and other key stakeholders whether there is a will to let Tesla enter India.
Ahuja, a seasoned auto industry finance executive with 15 years experience at Ford Motor Company, joined Tesla Motors as its first CFO in 2008.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Master’s degree from Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science of Northwestern University and is an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
“Ahuja brings decades of experience helping to build revolutionary and disruptive companies in the transportation and health sectors,” said Keller Rinaudo, CEO and co-founder of Zipline.
“His track record will have a massive impact as we continue to expand our footprint, support new categories, and build a business for the long-term,” Rinaudo added.
To date, Zipline has delivered more than 380,000 packages with more than 3.5 million products, and flown more than 25 million autonomous miles.