Rivian Hires New COO Amid Turbulent Month

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

An R1T in Rivian Blue at the main entrance to the plant in Normal, IL.​
Courtesy of Rivian

Sign up for dot.LA’s daily newsletter for the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

Rivian is back in the news again—but at least this time it’s not for a pricing bait-and-switch, a lawsuit, or a tumbling stock price on the heels of a less-than-impressive earnings report. Today, the Irvine-based electric automaker announced that it has hired Frank Klein as chief operations officer, tasking him with improving Rivian’s vertical integration and scaling up production capacity at its plant in Illinois.


Klein brings decades of automotive manufacturing experience to the struggling EV manufacturer. He previously worked as president of Magna Steyr, an Austria-based contract automobile manufacturer that develops and assembles vehicles for other companies such as BMW, Audi, Aston Martin, Fiat and Peugeot. Prior to Magna Steyr, Klein spent nearly three decades at Daimler AG (now known as the Mercedes-Benz Group), where he oversaw the setup for the company’s plant in Kecskemét, Hungary.

“I'm hugely excited to be joining Rivian,” Klein said in a statement. “It’s a company creating industry-leading products and services that are helping to shape the future of the automotive industry. I share [CEO RJ Scaringe’s] vision and I'm looking forward to working with him and the team to drive growth and further Rivian’s mission.”

Since its $12 billion IPO last fall, the automaker has faced numerous supply chain-related issues and fallen short of production goals. The company’s stock has fallen from an all-time high of $179.47 per share to just $35.83 at Monday’s close—a decline that has led to a class-action lawsuit claiming the company misled investors about the feasibility of its pricing schemes in the run-up to the IPO. Amazon, which owns an 18% stake in the company, has reportedly lost upwards of $10 billion as a result of its position.

The COO position at Rivian has been vacant since December, when Klein’s predecessor Rod Copes retired. Whether Klein’s deep industry experience will be enough to lift Rivian out of its current woes, and allow it to compete with the likes of Tesla in an increasingly crowded EV market, remains to be seen.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Riot Games Doubles Down on Mobile With ‘Aim Lab’ Investment

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Riot Games Doubles Down on Mobile With ‘Aim Lab’ Investment
Image from Aim Lab

Riot Games has invested in virtual shooting range developer Statespace, accelerating the Los Angeles video game publisher’s efforts to dominate the mobile gaming space.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Meet Surf Air Mobility, the Startup Trying To Electrify Air Travel

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Meet Surf Air Mobility, the Startup Trying To Electrify Air Travel
Courtesy of Surf Air Mobility

The airline industry is a notoriously terrible polluter, with large carriers struggling to find ways to limit the more than 915 million tons of carbon emissions produced by their industry each year.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Ranavat’s Founder on How Pregnancy and Ayurveda Inspired Her to Start Her Skincare Company

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Michelle Ranavat
Photo credit: Grey and Elle

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Michelle Ranavat talks about how pregnancy and traditional ayurvedic remedies inspired her to start her skincare company, and how she grew it without relying on outside funding.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending