Like other publicly traded electric automakers, Rivian hasn't been doing so well lately. It recently missed its delivery targets—albeit barely— and has struggled to source the necessary components to build trucks. As that's been happening, several executives have departed, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
A few are particularly biting, including the company's lead lawyer Neil Sitron. Sitron had been with the automaker since it was founded in 2009 up to his departure. Its head of supply chain, Steve Gawronski, left too, along with the automaker's vice president of body and interior engineering, Randy Frank, and Patrick Hunt, who WSJ described as "a senior director in the strategy team." Hunt was with the company since 2015, Gawronski since 2018, and Frank joined in 2019.
A spokeswoman for the automaker declined to give any individual context of the departures to WSJ.
To be fair to Rivian, a lot has changed since many of these executives were hired. Rivian had just 1,200 employees in 2019; recent counts put that closer to 14,000 now. The automaker also has plans to build a new $5 billion factory in Georgia, although it's unclear if those plans have been affected by the ongoing worries of a possible recession.
Indeed, the company has made some strides. It missed its yearly delivery target of 25,000 vehicles by just 700 trucks. Likewise, its all-electric Amazon delivery vehicles are now hitting the streets. At least one of its executives, its head of supply chain, was already replaced.
So while things are certainly tumultuous at Rivian, even this number of departures is arguably mild enough to sum up as "growing pains." Keep in mind, Rivian has only been building trucks since late 2021, and it's only recently started building its second model, the R1S. Things are changing fast at the EV startup. The automaker may have preferred if these people didn't depart, but it's not like its backing from Amazon has fallen through or its CEO has left. If either of those happened, the automaker's stock would've tanked far more than the 79% it has already in the past year.
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