And none of them are happy about it.
The poaching of high-level executives by one automaker from another is nothing new. It happens all the time. However, one up and coming automaker, in particular, has been on a hiring spree. In doing so, it has managed to lure away dozens of employees from Ford, McLaren, and Tesla. Who could this be? According to The Verge, Rivian, the Michigan-based EV startup has more than doubled in size since last spring. All told, it has around 750 employees and this is expected to grow.
In addition to those automakers, Rivian also hired about 50 former Faraday Future employees, but that’s not at all surprising given that company’s major financial problems. The Verge also learned Rivian recently appointed its first chief technology officer, Mike Bell. Those who follow the tech industry will know that name immediately; he was a longtime Apple VP who played a major role in bringing the iPhone to market.
These hirings on Rivian’s part show it’s using at least some of that $500 million investment from Ford to good use. It has even nabbed about 20 now former Ford employees. One of those is 27-year Ford veteran Randy Frank, who most recently headed up the Blue Oval’s global engineering services division. Another Ford veteran now Rivian employee is R. Barry Caldwell. After a 32-year career at Ford, he’s now Rivian’s CAD director.
Rivian also received a $700 million investment from Amazon a few months ago, but the fact it’s luring employees away from those top tier automakers is telling; it also now has the money to do so. Rivian now has offices in Michigan, Illinois, California, and the UK.
With these big financial backers and a load of new employees, Rivian hopes to launch its all-electric pickup truck and SUV sometime in 2020. Right now, that market is completely void, but it won’t be for long. Tesla, for example, has plans to soon unveil its EV truck. GM is also planning to enter this segment in the near future. But Rivian could quickly become the EV truck and SUV leader if things keep going its way.