Faraday Future, the struggling EV startup turned public company, has taken additional disciplinary action in its now-completed internal investigation, including firing founder and former CEO Yueting Jia from his role as chief executive.
The company said in a securities filing Thursday that Yueting Jia, or YT, would retain his position as chief product officer and report to the executive chairman. However, YT’s role will be limited to focusing only on product and mobility ecosystem, internet, AI and advanced R&D technology. He will no longer be an officer, the company said in the filing.
It’s unclear whether completing the investigation will allow the company to file its 2021 annual report in time so it can comply with Nasdaq regulations without risking delisting.
Faraday Future, which has had a long string of controversy since its inception in 2014, became a publicly traded company in July 2021 after merging with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp. Trouble arose a few months later when a report on short sellers from J Capital alleged that Faraday Future had made a number of inaccurate statements. An internal review conducted by a special committee of directors and involving the expertise of an accounting firm and independent legal counsel soon followed.
Following its most recent findings, Faraday’s board placed Matthias Aydt, senior vice president of business development and board member, on probation as a senior executive for a period of six months. with immediate effect. During his tenure, he will remain as a non-independent member of the Board of Directors. The company also said there will be further “disciplinary action and termination of other company employees (none of whom are senior executives)”. The company did not name these employees.
Jiawei (Jerry) Wang, the company’s suspended vice president of global capital markets, has resigned, according to the filing.
Late last month, Faraday Future said several executives had been subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as part of an investigation into misrepresentations made to investors. The subpoena came nearly two months after an initial finding from Faraday Future’s internal investigation which determined that employees had made inaccurate statements to investors and that its “corporate culture had not sufficiently prioritized the conformity”. This internal investigation prompted Faraday Future to reorganize its board of directors, cut the salaries of two top executives and suspend at least one other.
Today’s announcement builds on this earlier action.
Faraday Future is one of several SPAC EVs to be investigated by the SEC over the past 18 months.