Arrival lays off 50% of employees and appoints new CEO
The crisis-stricken British electric vehicle developer Arrival is laying off half of its employees and changing its CEO to Igor Torgov. While production is not expected to start at the company’s US microfactory in North Carolina until 2024, this will require fresh capital.
Arrival has said it will reduce its global workforce by about 50 per cent to 800 employees to cut running costs. The move is part of several immediate measures to reduce operating costs and optimise the use of existing cash. The goal is to halve the ongoing cash costs of running the business to about $30 million per quarter. As of 31 December, the electric commercial vehicle developer says it still had cash and cash equivalents of 205 million US dollars.
The British company has appointed Igor Torgov as its new CEO, effective today. (30 January 2023). He succeeds Peter Cuneo, who has led Arrival as interim CEO since CEO Denis Sverdlov joined the board in November 2022. Torgov joined Arrival in February 2020, where he led the development of several departments. Prior to his position at Arrival, Igor held COO, CEO and leadership positions at Atol, Bitfury, Yota, Columbus IT and Microsoft, among others.
Torgov is expected to realise the restructuring of the company and help introduce what the company says is “a radically more efficient new method of developing and producing electric vehicles.” Arrival already declared a strategic realignment in August 2022, according to which the company will fully focus on the launch of its electric van for the time being and put its bus and car project on the back burner.
Meanwhile, the start of production at Arrival’s US micro-factory in Charlotte, North Carolina, appears to be on hold. It was already postponed last summer from the third quarter of 2022 to 2023. According to the latest announcement, the assembly lines will not start until 2024 and only if the company can raise additional capital. Arrival is currently still undergoing tests with its electric vans: The company says that the first certified and approved vans are currently being tested on public roads in the UK.
Incoming CEO Igor Torgov says, “Accepting this important role at a critical point in Arrival’s journey is a significant responsibility. Arrival has developed unique technologies in a market that has huge growth potential and can play a key role in addressing climate change. To unlock these opportunities, we need to make difficult decisions and to take swift action.”