After Karl-Thomas Neumann, Stefan Krause is also retiring from the board of Californian EV startup Canoo (formerly Evelozcity). Citing private “family matters” Krause will no longer be CEO but will continue taking care of financing in a limited capacity.
German publication Manager Magazin quotes Krause as saying that he needs time to settle urgent family matters and can no longer take sufficient care of his job as CEO. He does, however, want to continue to take care of Canoo’s financing from the supervisory board.
Krause’s position as CEO will be temporarily taken over by Ulrich Kranz, former head of BMW-i and former head of Canoo development. The long-term position at the top is still open.
Krause has indeed had a stormy run in the disruptive business of electric mobility over the last two years. The former BMW executive left Faraday Future to found Evoluzity, now called Canoo, in late 2017. At Faraday Futures, Krause had recruited potential investors who said they would just invest if controversial Chinese investor Jia Yueting would be willing to loosen its ties with the company. Jia Yueting was not, and Krause consequently left to found what is now called Canoo. His startup efforts were hampered by a rather belligerent and famously difficult Jia Yueting, who accused Krause and other former Faraday Futures employees of stealing secrets from their former employer. Despite the unpleasantry at the beginning, under Krause, the new startup was able to secure 1 billion dollars in funding. Krause started the process of raising another 200 million earlier this year.
The Canoo approach is innovative and forward-thinking. The startup is looking to make four vehicle types (up from an initial three)– classified as lifestyle, commuter, ‘last mile’ delivery and ride-hailing. All of the vehicles will move away from the traditional three-box car design with separate compartments for engine, passengers and luggage and with autonomous functions in mind. Canoo takes a different approach to traditional carmaking, offering their vehicles exclusively via subscriptions based on blockchain technology.
In his time at the helm of Canoo, Krause has managed to recruit some high-powered figures in electric mobility. Krause hired Olivier Bellin as COO, who among other notable positions, was VP of Supply Chain for California start-up ICON Aircraft. To head manufacturing operations Krause convinced Clemens Schmitz-Justen, who is a former President of BMW Manufacturing LLC, to be responsible for Canoo’s contract manufacturing strategy. In April this year, James Cox from the Uber rider App, joined the team to oversee the company’s digital services including cloud-based customer offerings, and was recently promoted to Chief Product Officer. Shi (Time) Aobing was appointed the head of HR in China, coming from an 11-year stint at SAIC Motor and is now responsible for growing the Canoo team in Shanghai since China is the other main focus of Canoo’s operations next to the States.
A little over a year ago, Krause brought Karl Thomas Neumann, the former Opel/Vauxhall CEO to Canoo. Neumann took charge of the company’s connectivity and mobility offers as well as overseeing all marketing, including branding, customer experience and the European market. Just last month, Karl-Thomas Neumann resigned from the board saying he wanted to pursue his “own projects”. Neumann spoke well of the company and said he would continue to be involved as a consultant and investor.
On 24 September, the company plans to present its first model to the public. Canoo intends to launch its first electric vehicle model in the US from 2021 and later in China. Manager Magazine reports that according to insiders, the company is fully on schedule.