Rivian Automotive Inc’s RIVN chief lobby officer Jim Chen is exiting the electric vehicle maker, joining a slew of C-suite talent that has quit the company recently.
What Happened: Chen would leave the EV maker by February, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the company. He joined Rivian in 2018 and is responsible for lobbying with states for allowing the company’s direct-to-consumer sales strategy.
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EV makers, especially the pure-play ones such as Tesla and Lucid Group, follow this model of selling, although most states have legislation that requires selling new cars through dealerships. For nimble upstarts, however, a direct selling strategy works well to save on costs and speed of delivery.
A Rivian spokesperson reportedly told WSJ that Chen is leaving by mutual agreement to spend more time with his family and to travel.
Why It’s Important: Earlier this month, WSJ reported that several top-level executives have quit the company in recent months amid execution issues precipitated by supply-chain challenges.
The company fell short of the scaled-back full-year production target for 2022, blaming it on global supply-chain challenges. It also folded up a joint venture partnership formed with Mercedes-Benz Group AG MBGAF to manufacture EV vans in Europe.
Subsequently, the company confirmed to Benzinga that these were planned moves and routine corporate actions. The company also pointed out that in recent months, it had hired new executives as well.
Price Action: After settling Monday’s session up 11.52%, the stock edged up 0.28% to $18.15 in the after-hours session, according to Benzinga Pro data.