Tesla's No. 2 - Tom Zhu second in command of Tesla after Elon Musk

The Power Behind Tesla’s Throne: Who is the Tesla’s No 2 after Elon Musk?

We all know Tesla and everybody knows about Elon Musk. Both the company and the person are meant for each other, but have you ever wondered who’s the No 2 at Tesla and in command of Tesla after Elon Musk?

Well, here we are going to talk about Tom Zhu, who is a Chinese brought by Elon from Austin to help him with the Biggest Electric Vehicle Producing Company. Just imagine, how he impressed Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla…

Why is Social Media going crazy after Tesla No 2, right after Elon Musk?

Tom Zhu in 2019

It all started with Twitter and the opening of the Tesla Texas Factory. It was last month, which isn’t too far away. There is a Twitter Picture that shows Elon with other members celebrating their new Factory, as well as the production of around 3k YS Model of Tesla in a week. 

On the Left side, we could see Tom Zhu himself who is originally known as Zhu Xiaotong has a vest with T (Tesla). After that, the news started roaming around that Elon Musk was finally impressed by a person to run Tesla in his absence.

Twitter required a lot of work and after his famous (or infamous) purchase, the main focus of Legend Elon Musk shifted to it. In his absence, Tesla was suffering quite a lot and needed someone to run it.

Therefore, the speculations roamed around Elon Musk were happy with Tom Zhu and decided to give him the Tesla No 2 Spot, who got the power right after Elon Musk at Tesla. So, who’s Tom Zhu – Power Behind Tesla’s Throne?

Tom Zhu – Tesla’s Second in Command!

Elon Musk found Tom Zhu as Tesla’s No 2

Zhu is the man behind the Operations of Asia Pacific US Carmakers and also the one who looked after Elon Musk’s Tesla Factory present in Shanghai, China. In his presence, Tesla became one of the most productive Car Factories in the world.

But that is not enough for the Share Holders and they demand more info on this brilliant person because Elon Musk chose him probably due to his competence. 

The Past

Tom Zhu was born in China and held New Zealand Passport. Zhu has a degree in BCom (IT) from the Auckland University of Technology. At the university of Duke Fuqua School of Business, he got his MBA Program Graduate done. 

He joined the company earlier in 2014 when it needed intellects for its Supercharger Network. But, before it, he was helping out an International Engineering Consultancy giving services to contractors in China, looking onward to expand beyond.

The rise in Tesla

So, Tesla’s No 2 became the manager of Operations in China just after he got elected in 2014. In 2015 he became the Manager, but after that in 2022 Tesla in Shanghai got a pump that even the CEO himself couldn’t help but notice. 

The initial start of the Tesla Factory in China wasn’t going well because it was outside the US, it was the oldest, and was in a muddy state. In the presence of Tom Zhu’s management, the Company rose to become a Gleaming Facility for EV production in a year. 

At the end of 2019, the mass production of Tesla started, making Zhu the Global Vice president. In 2022, we all know where it went because he was promoted to Oversee the Tesla Asia Pacific as Tesla Factory rolled out in Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong. 

It wasn’t Zhu only, rather it was the team who got Praise from Elon Musk. In the words of Man Himself, Tom Zhu and his team “Burned the 3 am Oil”. In short words, it means they worked tirelessly, extra hours in the Shanghai Facotry, even during the lockdowns of COVID. 

In one year, the plant was able to produce around 1 million EVs which is quite fascinating and only the Chinese could pull this one off. That’s how Tom Zhu Rose in Power became the Number 2 at Tesla, right after Elon Musk.

Why Tom Zhu? The Grind!

The Hardwork and Grind of Tom Zhu

There are YouTube Videos, and Pictures on the internet that show the Hard Work of Tom Zhu, wearing that catchy Branded Freeze of Tesla. Sleeping in the Factory, disciplinary, committed to work, staying right beside the Security Staff and all that to keep the Factory Working. While everyone was sleeping, he was out there working!

More than 52 Percent of Tesla were made in China alone last year which rounds up to around 710k Teslas, which is more than the whole world combined Tesla made. He personally lived in a two-bedroom government-owned apartment that he rented for less than 300 dollars a month, which makes around 2k yuan. It was the closest to the factory and his whole family is 1200km apart, living in Beijing.

So, what’s the secret to all the hard work? Honestly, he is disciplined, meaning he wakes up at around 6 AM, catches the NA Colleagues, travels to the factory, and does carpooling with the employees, sometimes. In the world of 2nd in Command of Tesla – Legendary Zhu, the atmosphere here at Tesla is incredible. Everyone is doing something good for someone else and getting back that good in return. 

In the factory, Zhu has to check the Production Lines, interact with the Engineers, Solve the hard Technical Issues himself, and even get his hands dirty in the process and sit at his office doing work with other Employees. Tom Zhu was also spotted beside Song Gang, who was the Production Director. Both worked hard at midnight.

Are you having trouble with your Tweets Loading? Well, here is an amazing Guide on How to Fix Tweets not loading on Twitter to solve that.

Who was Zhu in sight of the others?

Coming to the last point, Zhu was actually defined as a responsive, tenacious, pragmatic, and hardworking person. He worked with other employees without any ego and went beyond his duties to make the system work. 

Tom Zhu – The Man Who Impressed Elon Musk!

Legendary Elon Musk

Well, now we know who is the Number 2 at Tesla and who controls Tesla Motors right after Elon Musk. The Legendary Musk isn’t someone who is easily impressed but Tom Zhu is known as the person who did that in under a few years. Yes, he is Chinese and yes, he was a worker. But that is probably why he made the impossible a reality. 

In the wordings of Tom Zhu himself, anyone can talk with Elon, as it is not a matter of authority. You can ask questions, talk about the Factory, email him, and so on. So, there is no shortcut here for people complaining he had an easy way out. No, he worked out to make it all a possibility and now he is the 2nd in command of Tesla, right after Elon Musk or most probably the successor of Elon Musk in the EV industry. 

If you are reading this Tom Zhu… We are proud of you man!!!

Dawer Iqbal, an electrical engineer, is the visionary behind ThePantherTech. His passion for technology and commitment to demystifying it are at the heart of this platform.