Jia Yueting, founder of the troubled EV start-up Faraday Future (FF), stood down as the company’s CEO on September 3, confirming recent rumours. Carsten Breitfeld, who previously helped BMW launch their i8 hybrid sports car and had a hand in founding another EV startup Byton, will fill the vacancy.
Jia will not be leaving the company altogether and will remain as FF’s “chief product and user officer”, a role that will involve overseeing AI, product definition, user experience and the overall implementation of the company’s internet eco-system model.
In the short term, Breitfield is expected to lead the production of the company’s new ultra-luxury model FF 91 and to manage the final development of the mass market release FF 81.
“I am thrilled to accept the role of CEO and look forward to powering FF to its next stage of success,” said Breitfeld. “One of the main reasons I joined FF was Jia and his vision for how the mobility eco-system will transform the industry, and FF’s industry-leading products and technology, as well as their recently-implemented global partnership program.”
“Jia Yueting and I have known each other for a number of years and have discussed me joining the company in the past. I appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit and admire his vision of successfully predicting the future mobility ecosystem. Being an entrepreneur myself, I feel that I am in a better position to understand his unremitting efforts and contributions in pursuing his dream,” Breitfeld added.
Faraday Future, listed among the most promising startups just in the begging of the year, has been in a grim condition, barely making ends meet after a scandalous breakup with its main investor Evergrande Group at the end of last year. The company has laid off employees and sold a number of its properties throughout the first half of this year, including the company’s Los Angeles headquarters to alleviate the debt burden.
Jia Yueting initiated the restructuring of the company in late 2018 to implement top management changes and get the company out of the financial predicament. It was also announced that the now former CEO is establishing a debt repayment trust fund to provide a thorough solution to his remaining debts as quickly as he can.
“I gave up everything to make sure FF will succeed, and to fully repay my remaining guarantor debt as soon as possible, and ultimately to realize the dream of revolutionizing the automotive industry,” said Jia.
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