Aptera Motors has just hired on Jannies Sun Burlingame to be its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While that may just seem like a dry bit of corporate news at first glance, it's interesting for several reasons.
For one thing, CFO is a key appointment, and filling the position with a candidate with a level of gravitas like Burlingame lends the company credibility. In the startup game, credibility is a valuable asset and can be the difference between receiving adequate investment and succeeding or not.
So, let's take a quick look at her bio and see why she's a good fit and why this post has the title it does. Burlingame began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers before tackling highly technical work involving regulatory compliance and risk management. She started her own consultancy business in 2007 - SS&B Global - just finished a run as president of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Los Angeles chapter, and sits on the board of Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists.
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Scrolling through her background on the press release on the Aptera website, one soon gets the impression this person possesses a formidable mind and an ambition equal to that of the automotive startup. And it's in this light that we turn to her experience with initial public offerings (IPO). She has participated in over a dozen, both domestic and internationally, and currently serves as an independent Director for an unnamed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Co-CEO Steve Fambro points out, in the announcement, that her expertise in helping companies go public was a key factor in her hiring. So, putting two and two together, it's practically impossible to miss that going public is an integral part of the Aptera plan.
Initial public offerings or merging with a SPAC are two ways to get the necessary capital to execute on business plans. Though Aptera appears to run a fiscally conservative ship, it likely needs significant investment if it's to achieve its goal of beginning production this year.
To get an overview of where Aptera is today, where it wants to be in the near-term, and how it's going to get there, check out our interview with founders Steve Fambro and Chris Anthony on our latest edition of the InsideEVs Podcast.