CFO of Tesla speaks to students

first_imgDeepak Ahuja, the Chief Financial Officer of Tesla Motors, spoke about his role at the company and the lessons he has learned from working there to kick off the Trojan Scholars Society’s Distinguished Lecture Series in Tutor Campus Center on Monday night.Top gear · Deepak Ahuja, the chief financial officer of Tesla Motors, spoke to students as part of the Trojan Scholars Society Distinguished Lecture Series at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on Monday night. — Tucker McWhirter | Daily Trojan“Tonight we hope to begin to develop what will be a full year long distinguished lecture series,” said Austin Reagan, a junior majoring in political science and environmental studies and co-chair of Trojan Scholars Society.Tesla Motors is a company co-founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of creating fully electric cars. Ahuja was recently was named a 2014 CFO of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times.After receiving a master’s degree in materials engineering at Northwestern University and a master’s in business administration at Carnegie Mellon University, Ahuja worked at Ford Motor Company until 2008, when he was asked to be the CFO at Tesla.“At that time it was a very small company with about 200 employees,” Ahuja said. “They had yet to sell a single car.”Ahuja spoke about his first interaction with Musk.“Interestingly, he already had a reputation not as a great innovator, but more of a ruthless leader,” Ahuja said. “When I spoke with him, it just blew my mind. He was an incredible person, an amazing innovator, and had the vision and the guts to change the automotive industry in a way no one could imagine.”The switch from Ford to Tesla was a life changing decision for Ahuja. He and his family left Michigan to begin work and school in Palo Alto, California at Tesla headquarters. One of Ahuja’s daughters is a current junior at USC. Ahuja explained the impact this decision had on him.“I was doing very well at Ford, living a very comfortable lifestyle and could see myself retiring from Ford and life would have been just fine,” Ahuja said. “On the other hand, I could go down an uncharted path, take a huge risk, and it was a tough call but I decided to take a leap of faith in Elon.”For Ahuja, working for Tesla has led him to focus on developing relationships.“To be a good CFO, one has to build very strong relationships with the executives to see how to effectively give them direction on things to do better and differently and to guide them to stay aligned with the organization,” Ahuja said.Ahuja credited his engineering background for the foundation of his success as CFO of Tesla.“Engineering gives me sufficient basis and also the mindset of how I think, but as I look back, it is the combination of all these things that ultimately prepared me to be the CFO of Tesla,” Ahuja said.Students who attended the event said they were inspired by Ahuja.“I think his experience makes him a lot more qualified than most,” said Andrew Morris, a sophomore majoring in mathematics and natural sciences. “I was inspired by the fact that he was really comfortable with his job and he decided that he was inspired to do something different, because a lot of people, I think, ignore that inspiration, or don’t think it is worth pursuing.”Ahuja pointed out the quality of students at USC.“You all will go on and make amazing careers with your lives,” Ahuja said. “It is indeed a pleasure to be here with you. You all should be very proud of being here.”last_img read more

Clippers use balanced effort to extend their dominance of Suns

first_imgDanilo Gallinari and Lou Williams scored 21 points apiece and four other Clippers finished in double figures as they won their third straight against the Suns this season and their 11th straight in the series.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Patrick Beverley scored 16 points for the Clippers, who led by 29 points in the second quarter. Beverley made four 3-pointers, Williams had three and Tobias Harris added two with his 16 points. Montrezl Harrell scored 15.“I loved how we started the game,” Rivers said. “The way we can score, if we defend, it’s hard for anyone to beat us.”Devin Booker scored 23 points and T.J. Warren had 20 for the Suns, who lost their fifth straight.The Suns, down by 30 with 4½ minutes remaining in the third quarter, used a 22-5 run fueled by seven points from Jamal Crawford and six by Josh Jackson to close to 91-78 entering the fourth quarter. What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 PreviousPhoenix Suns mascot “The Gorilla” states his case for Suns guard Devin Booker to receive All-Star support during the first half of Friday’s game against the Clippers in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers center Marcin Gortat takes a shot during the first half of Friday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives past Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsClippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drives around the Suns’ De’Anthony Melton during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren drives past Los Angeles Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half during an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. The Clippers defeated the Suns 121-111. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Suns forward Mikal Bridges, left, knocks the ball away from Clippers guard Lou Williams during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drives against Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes (21) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell drives against Suns forward Richaun Holmes during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is fouled by Suns forward T.J. Warren during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers guard Lou Williams looks to pass during the first half of Friday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard De’Anthony Melton (14) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell drives past Suns guard Devin Booker during the first half of Friday’s game in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard De’Anthony Melton (14) drives between Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari, left, and Marcin Gortat in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns guard De’Anthony Melton (14) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) trips over Los Angeles Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) drives past Los Angeles Clippers center Marcin Gortat during the second half during an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. The Clippers defeated the Suns 121-111. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers guard Patrick Beverley celebrates after making a 3-pointer against during the second half of Friday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Phoenix Suns mascot “The Gorilla” states his case for Suns guard Devin Booker to receive All-Star support during the first half of Friday’s game against the Clippers in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Clippers center Marcin Gortat takes a shot during the first half of Friday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)NextShow Caption1 of 21Clippers center Marcin Gortat takes a shot during the first half of Friday’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)ExpandPHOENIX — Marcin Gortat figures he is the beneficiary of coach Doc Rivers’ New Year’s resolution.Gortat had not played in the fourth quarter in the first 36 games of the season until the calendar turned, and he responded with his first double-double of the season when the Clippers extended their dominance of the Phoenix Suns with a 121-111 victory Friday night.“You never know with Doc,” Gortat said after getting 18 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes.“You just have to be ready. You earn your minutes. Obviously, if you play well, you might earn a few more minutes. That’s all I’m trying to do, help the team to win.” Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton had four points, tying a season low set in the first game against the Clippers on Nov. 28. He had three field-goal attempts, five rebounds, three assists and four turnovers.“You know (Coach) Larry Brown used to say, ‘You need the touches, you go get it,’ ” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said.“(Three) touches? It’s on all of us.”The Suns fell behind early, a problem in their last several starts. Harris and Williams made two 3-pointers apiece in the first quarter, when the Clippers shot 71.4 percent and finished on a 23-6 run for a 38-19 lead.The Clippers led 63-34 on Gallinari’s first 3-pointer with four minutes left in the half. It was 68-44 at halftime.Phoenix trailed Philadelphia by 22 points after 16 minutes of its 132-127 loss on Wednesday and was down by 17 at halftime of a 132-109 loss to Golden State on New Year’s Eve.BIG BENCHThe Clippers’ reserves had 61 points. They entered the game averaging a league-high 52.4 Williams and Harrell have not started a game this season, and Beverley flip-flopped with Avery Bradley on Nov. 20.All average at least 25 minutes per game, and Williams (18.2) and Harrell (15.7) are the Clippers’ third- and fourth-leading scorers.“Trez’ could start, we know that. Lou could start,” Rivers said. “The fact that they are OK coming off the bench is the first key. I do think it takes a special mindset for a guy to want to do that and then guys who accept to do that. We have that.”TIP-INSClippers: The Clippers play six of their next seven games at home, only away for an overnight trip to Denver on Jan. 10. … Boban Marjanovic, one of three Clippers to have a double-double against the Suns on Nov. 28, did not play.Suns: Ayton had double-doubles in nine of his previous 11 games, and he had nine rebounds in the other game in that stretch. … The Suns are 5-16 at home. Only the New York Knicks (4-12) have fewer home victories. … Booker has seven 35-point games, tied for third in the league behind James Harden (15) and Steph Curry (eight).UP NEXTThe Clippers host Orlando on Sunday.center_img For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Mikal Bridges’ dunk on the first possession of the period brought the Suns within 11, but Williams made two 3-pointers and a three-point play as the Clippers again pulled away.“We understand (Phoenix) is a young team,” Williams said. “They are putting pieces together, trying to figure out their identity. So we just come in and play hard.”The Clippers shot 51 percent from the field and held a 43-25 rebounding edge. They have outrebounded the Suns by 42 in the three meetings this season.“We don’t have stupid great rebounders on this team,” Gortat said. “Everybody has to rebound. We have to box out, hit somebody.“Make sure we are the guys who are hitting first. Then go get the ball. We have to make them miss and get the ball. Not every game is going to look that way, but today it worked perfectly.”Reserves Richaun Holmes and Crawford had 16 points apiece for the Suns.Related Articles Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates last_img read more