Rivian CEO expanding duties to include product teams

(Credit: Rivian)

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe is set to gain additional duties related to product oversight ahead of the automaker’s plans for its next-generation electric vehicle (EV).

According to a regulatory filing and internal memos cited in a report from Automotive News, all Rivian product teams will now report directly to Scaringe, including workers in areas like software, autonomy and design. Previous chief product development officer Nick Kalayjian will step back from the role, though he’s expected to remain a key part of Rivian’s propulsion and vehicle tech units, remaining an adviser through 2024.

“It’s a big year for product for Rivian, so RJ is doubling down on the introduction of our new technologies in 2024 and the design and development of R2,” a Rivian spokesperson told Reuters. “Nick will be advising through 2024.”

According to Rivian, the automaker’s product reporting structure will feature categories, including software, autonomy, design, programs, electrical, vehicle and propulsion. One email seen by Reuters also noted that Scaringe would oversee both reliability and quality at the company, as part of a larger attempt to work closely with product development.

“I want to stay as close to the development of our products as possible,” Scaringe wrote in the email.

“My desire to make changes aligns perfectly with RJ’s desire to redirect more of his time and energy toward product leadership,” Kalayjian wrote to colleagues in a memo seen by Bloomberg.

Rivian currently sells its first-generation vehicles, the R1T pickup and the R1S SUV, both of which are built at its factory in Normal, Illinois. The automaker is also building a $5 billion manufacturing plant outside of Atlanta, Georgia, to build its next-gen vehicles, the R2 line. One executive recently said the generation’s mid-size SUV would be priced between $40,000 and $60,000.

Although the automaker is still losing money on each of its cars sold, Scaringe pointed out last month that Rivian is progressing toward profitability as its losses per vehicle are steadily declining with each quarter.

Earlier this month, Rivian also launched its electric delivery van (EDV) to customers beyond Amazon, with small-scale fleet orders expected to begin in 2024 before ramping up in 2025.

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Rivian CEO expanding duties to include product teams
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