Former Porsche US CEO Could Be Joining Rivian: Report
Kjell Gruner was instrumental in Porsche’s success in the U.S. for the past three years.
Rivian could be getting a new executive from Porsche North America, as the Stuttgart brand's former CEO is joining the American EV startup in an undisclosed position, according to Automotive News Europe.
Just over a week ago, on July 5, Kjell Gruner "announced his intention to leave Porsche" after spending three years as President and CEO. Now, Gruner seems to be taking his talents to Rivian, likely in the hopes that he can help increase sales for the promising EV maker.
According to Porsche, the brand saw record growth in the United States market during Gruner's time at the helm. He was said to be instrumental in customer satisfaction increases, as well as marketing and press improvements. Potentially more importantly, Gruner helped Porsche expand its dealer network to nearly 200 locations across the U.S., which could be why Rivian is interested in his assistance.
Rivian has had a bit of an up and down year so far, with its stock price dropping significantly, and then normalizing a bit, and posting a $1.35 billion net loss in the first quarter, despite exceeding Q1 revenue expectations. However, Rivian is also trucking ahead (pun unintended), as it's building a $5 billion plant outside of Atlanta, and working on a fourth vehicle, the more affordable R2. Someone with the experience of running a profitable, established brand like Porsche could be an incredible asset for Rivian.
It's currently unclear what sort of role Gruner will play at Rivian, if he is indeed joining the American EV brand, as nothing has officially been announced yet. However, it doesn't seem likely that he'll make a lateral move to CEO, as that would mean replacing Rivian founder RJ Scaringe. Whatever role he would end up playing, though, Gruner would be a good get for Rivian. If he has indeed joined the team, it will be interesting to see how he can help the electric truck brand moving forward.
The Drive reached out to Rivian for a comment and will update this story when we get one.
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