Faraday Future, the flashy Los Angeles-based electric-car startup that has been hobbled by a spate of high-level executive departures, unpaid bills, lawsuits, and a run of bad press, says it is trying to turn things around.
The company, now guided by its newly hired chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, is on a $US1 billion fundraising blitz and will name the company’s CEO “within the next four weeks,” according to Krause, who spoke to Business Insider exclusively in his first public comments about the company’s plans.
Together with Faraday’s primary backer, Jia Yueting, who is the CEO of Chinese tech giant, LeEco, Krause said naming a Faraday CEO is pertinent to the company’s investor strategy.
“Faraday has a CEO position, and currently there is no name on that position,” Krause told Business Insider. Krause said Jia, who goes by the initials YT, has put more than $US300 million into Faraday since it launched in 2014 and will continue to fund the company while Faraday works to bring in the first $US500 million of its $US1 billion Series A round.
“That was part of the discussion I had with him in China,” Krause said. “We’ll name a CEO within the next four weeks. YT understood that it’s core to investors, if they come in, that they obviously need to understand who the CEO is.”
Krause and Faraday’s spokespeople declined to elaborate on potential candidates for the chief executive position.
Faraday has been notoriously secretive about all of its plans, and this is the first time the upstart has publicly acknowledged that it has not yet named a top executive. Three people close to Faraday told Business Insider earlier this year that Ding Lei, a cofounder at LeEco, was acting as Faraday’s “global CEO” until late 2016.
Those sources said Faraday’s former “CEO of record” was David Wisnieski, who was officially the company’s director of finance. Nevada state documents related to Faraday’s forthcoming assembly plant in North Las Vegas had listed Wisnieski as president, secretary, treasurer, and director of “Faraday & Future Inc.,” the company’s legal name. He left in July 2016.
The company’s latest documents filed with the Nevada secretary of state lists a different set of officers.
Until recently, Faraday also declined to reveal who its other investors were, but that’s changing as well, according to Krause. Investors signing on to its $US1 billion Series A round will be publicly named sometime in the third quarter this year, Krause said.
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