HANFORD — Reports of an executive’s departure and mandatory employee furloughs are the latest in a string of troubling revelations to come from electric car start-up Faraday Future in the past few weeks.
Dag Reckhorn, Faraday’s vice president of global manufacturing and the person who has essentially been the face of the company in Hanford for over a year, resigned recently, according to reports from technology news website The Verge. He’s one of several executives to do so this year.
According to an email obtained by The Verge, Reckhorn said he was "heartbroken" to leave, but was forced to do so due to "legalities."
"Please do not believe that I am ditching the best team I ever worked with,” Reckhorn's email allegedly said.
John Schilling, a spokesman for Faraday Future, confirmed Reckhorn’s exit to The Verge, saying the company thanked him for his service and wished him luck in the future.
Reckhorn’s departure comes on the heels of reported investor and financing trouble that have led to employee layoffs and salary cuts, including employees at the Hanford factory.
Furthermore, The Verge reports that furloughs have now been put in place, meaning certain employees are on forced unpaid leave until further notice, possibly lasting through the end of the year.
Faraday Future is currently in the middle of arbitration with its major investor, Chinese real estate group Evergrande.
Evergrande has accused Faraday Future founder and CEO YT Jia of trying to back out of their deal, while Faraday officials said Evergrande failed to live up to its end of the bargain and was trying to prevent Faraday from accepting financing from other sources.
Faraday officials previously said the company will continue to pursue funding opportunities and are committed to making progress on their goal of producing its luxury electric vehicle, the FF 91, but in the meantime had to make “difficult but necessary temporary decisions.”
This financial crisis even spurred some employees to set up a Go Fund Me account to help team members that are in need of financial support during the furlough.
According to the account webpage, they are hoping to raise $50,000, which will then be distributed to team members based on certain financial needs.
The Go Fund Me account already has nearly $19,000 raised, with Reckhorn donating $10,000 of that total.
Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle said the city knows only as much as the general public knows about the inner workings of the company. He said Faraday is a private company that does not owe the city any money, and therefore does not owe them any explanations about what is going on.
Pyle said he is completely optimistic about the future of Faraday, recognizing though, that it is a multi-billion dollar global start-up that is undertaking a feat that is not easy.
“A large investment has been made in Hanford and I do not believe that will go to waste,” Pyle said. “That’s just my gut feeling.”