NextEv, a Chinese electric car company potentially taking on Tesla and Faraday Future, has tapped Padmasree Warrior for the U.S. CEO position. Warrior will also head up software development and the user experience globally for the Shanghai-based company.
According to Warrior, NextEv has already pulled in half a billion dollars of the $1 billion it plans to raise from the likes of Sequoia Ventures, Joy Ventures, Tencent Holdings and Hillhouse Capital – with plans to grow the business and hire in the hundreds under her leadership in the near future.
The company launched out of stealth today and plans to ship an electric vehicle model rivaling Tesla in late 2016 – including a model that will reportedly match Tesla’s “Ludicrous” speed (0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds). The vehicles will first roll out to Chinese consumers and then to other parts of the world, including the U.S.
Warrior tells TechCrunch she was picked for the role because of her strong tech background. She spent the last seven years as the chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco and 23 years before that as the CTO at Motorola. Warrior also sits on the board of several tech companies such as Box and Microsoft. She left her Cisco position in May of this year, according to her LinkedIn profile and considered many career moves – including a possible appointment as Twitter’s CEO – before landing the position at NextEv.
This is her first startup gig and the first time she’s ventured into the automotive industry. Warrior came into the TechCrunch studios today to speak with me about her about plans for the future of the NextEv and why she made the move into electric vehicles.