“This is an important time for our growing business, all of which is happening in an extremely challenging environment,” Scaringe wrote. “We are well-positioned for long-term success, but we must continuously evaluate how we operate.”
Under the changes, many of Rivian’s senior manufacturing, engineering and supply chain personnel will report to COO Klein.
Rivian has struggled with supply shortages and manufacturing snafus since it began building its new products late last year. The electric vehicle startup was touted as a competitor to Tesla Inc. and became the largest initial public offering last year. But its shares have fallen more than 70 percent this year as it has suffered a series of miscues.
Mwangi, who had previously worked as an engineering executive at Tesla, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Forest Young, Rivian’s global brand chief, will now report directly in to Scaringe. Rivian has positioned its brand as the Patagonia of electric vehicles — an Earth-friendly company that targets families seeking adventure. But the company’s also had reputational problems, most prominently an embarrassing series of price hike U-turns in March, which hurt the stock and the company’s image with some customers.