Many folks who have followed the EV space and Tesla for a number of years likely saw this coming. Multiple of Rivian's leading executives recently left the company over the last few months, and most recently, more departed following the electric truck maker's 2022 production miss.
Some key players for the electric startup were among those who decided to leave, including Rivian Automotive's vice president of body and interior engineering Randy Frank and vice president in charge of parts purchasing and supply chain Steve Gawronski. Both executives have been with Rivian for a long time and left at the beginning of 2023.
Rivian has already officially confirmed the recent executive departures. The electric truck maker just recently reported its deliveries after a very rocky 2022. It had a previous target of 25,000 deliveries for the year as a whole, though it ended up missing the mark by some 700 EVs. Most of the blame for the shortfall was attributed to supply chain constraints. It doesn't matter how quickly you ramp up production if you simply can't get the parts.
Clearly, it could have been much worse, but most of us have seen what happens with Wall Street when an automaker doesn't at least live up to earlier guidance. The company first offered stock publicly in November 2021, and it was recently down nearly 80 percent.
Frank and Gawronski weren't the first executives to leave Rivian, and it's highly likely they won't be the last. No matter how successful the automaker is in the near future, it's expected to take many years before it can be deemed truly successful.
Starting an automotive company has proven incredibly difficult, and being an electric-only automaker has additional challenges. Not to mention that since the COVID-19 pandemic, even the most substantial and established companies across the globe have had to endure very tough times.
Toward the end of 2022, Rivian's head of strategy Patrick Hunt left the company. In addition, general council Neil Sitron departed.
In a more positive light, Rivian had just 1,200 employees in 2019 and has grown to around 14,000 today. Despite the production miss, Rivian did have a relatively strong fourth quarter in 2022, producing over 10,000 electric vehicles and delivering over 8,000.