Dr. Kjell Gruner, the former CEO of Porsche Cars North America, has taken the roles of Chief Commercial Officer and President of Business Growth at Rivian, the maker of the all-electric R1S SUV, R1T pickup truck, and Amazon EDV.
The decision, which was announced by the EV startup on Friday, comes after Gruner made an abrupt exit “at his own request” in July, after less than three years as head honcho at the German sports car maker’s North American business unit.
Following his departure from Porsche Cars North America, Automotive News reported that Gruner would be heading to Rivian, citing sources familiar with the matter, but it was unclear what position was in store for the ex-Porsche chief executive.
Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T
“We are very happy to welcome Kjell to the Rivian team as Chief Commercial Officer and President, Business Growth,” said RJ Scaringe, the founder and CEO of Rivian. “We will rely on Kjell’s talent and experience as we position ourselves for growth domestically and internationally, the launch of a new platform in R2 at a new facility, and the continued success of our commercial vehicle line. I look forward to working closely together as we tackle this next great wave of opportunity.”
At the same time, the new CCO had this to say: “I am excited to join Rivian at this important time in its success story. Rivian has built an exceptional brand with two incredible consumer vehicles, the R1T and R1S, as well as category-defining commercial vans, at its core. As we build a strong brand, I look forward to chart paths into new markets, build new partnerships and customer experiences, and engage with our community while constantly embracing a clear and consistent strategy for the future.”
Before taking the role of CEO for Porsche Cars North America in 2020, Gruner served as the automaker’s vice president of marketing for Porsche AG from 2010 and as Director of Strategy for Mercedes-Benz Cars at Daimler from 2004.
At Rivian, he will report directly to RJ Scaringe and will oversee the company’s commercial functions including sales, marketing, customer care, delivery, service, and fleet.