Faraday Future Demotes Founder Yueting ‘YT’ Jia in Latest Shakeup

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. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Faraday Future Demotes Founder Yueting ‘YT’ Jia in Latest Shakeup
Faraday Future Plans to Launch Its First Electric Car This Fall

Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future has demoted its founder, Yueting “YT” Jia, who is no longer an executive officer at the company.

In an SEC filing this week, Faraday Future said Jia will continue in his role as “chief product and user ecosystem officer,” which sees him focus on the automaker’s “product and mobility ecosystem,” as well as its “internet, artificial intelligence and advanced R&D technology.” Jia was previously the firm’s CEO, but stepped down in September 2019 and was succeeded by former BMW executive Carsten Breitfeld.

The shakeup comes as Gardena-based Faraday deals with an SEC investigation into whether it misled investors with inaccurate statements. The scandal has already prompted an internal review that resulted in the company revamping its board and handing a 25% pay cut to both Jia and Breitfeld.

\u200bFaraday Future founder YT Jia

Faraday Future founder YT Jia.

Image from Faraday Future

A spokesperson for Faraday confirmed Jia’s demotion, describing it as “a remedial step recommended by the [board’s] special committee as a result of the findings of the [internal] investigation.”

Jia has been a controversial figure since founding Faraday in 2014. The Chinese businessman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019 to address $3.6 billion in personal debts, much of it tied to the financial challenges of his China-based tech conglomerate, LeEco. Jia’s stewardship of Faraday faced blistering criticism in a report last year by short-selling firm J Capital, which labeled the founder a “securities fraudster” and described Faraday as an “embezzlement vehicle.” The J Capital report led to Faraday launching its internal investigation, as well as subsequent investor lawsuits and the SEC’s scrutiny.

Faraday went public last July via a SPAC merger that raised approximately $1 billion for the company and valued it at $3.4 billion—though that valuation has fallen significantly, in line with the company’s stock price. As well as legal problems, the automaker has faced myriad financial and production issues in recent years, but said earlier this month that it plans to launch its first electric vehicle, the FF91, in the third quarter of this year.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

Read moreShow less

JC2 Ventures’ John Chambers on Navigating the Economic Downturn

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

John Chambers

On this episode of Office Hours, host Spencer Rascoff joined John Chambers, founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, to discuss how executives should approach the shifting economy. The recording was held at this year's Montgomery Summit, an annual gathering of over 1,000 senior-level investors, thought leaders and technology executives in Santa Monica.

Read moreShow less