Faraday Future, the troubled EV startup-turned-publicly-traded company, has shuffled its executive ranks once again.
The board fired its CEO Carsten Breitfeld, according to a regulatory filing posted Monday after the markets closed. Brietfeld, who was the former co-founder of failed EV startup Byton, took the leadership role at Faraday Future in September 2019.
The board said Monday it appointed Xuefeng Chen, a former and longtime Chery Jaguar Land Rover executive who most recently led Faraday Future’s China division, as its new CEO. As Faraday’s new global CEO, Chen will receive a base annual salary of $900,000, a performance-based bonus of up to $600,000 and a cash signing and retention bonus of $500,000. The retention bonus must be returned if Chen resigns or is terminated without cause in the next 36 months. Chen will also receive restricted stocks and performance-based restricted stock units.
The CEO upheaval is the latest in a string of internal drama and financial problems that have plagued the company for years. Even its public debut at CES 2016 was controversial.
The messiness at the company has only ramped up since it went public through a merger with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp. in July 2021. Investigations, a restructuring and a going concern warning are just a few of the dramatic turn of events in the past 18 months.
Breitfeld’s dismissal comes just a week since the company warned it might not be able to continue operating over the next year and that it was uncertain when its first FF 91 luxury EVs would be delivered.
The company has repeatedly delayed the FF 91 vehicle, which as of November 17 had received only 369 non-binding preorders. While Faraday Future did appear to snag a $350 million lifeline in recent weeks, it may not be enough to sustain its operations or deliver on its long-promised vehicle.