Car Industry

Faraday Future founder resigns as staff furloughed, report says

The founder reportedly called the startup "effectively insolvent" in an email.

Faraday Future might have been given the green light to move ahead with seeking additional funding, but a new report paints a picture of a company that's still in a grim place.

Faraday Future is furloughing some of its staff, The Verge reports, citing an internal email from CEO Jia Yueting that the site obtained. A furlough is essentially a temporary layoff, placing workers on unpaid leave for a period of time. According to The Verge's report, the furlough will end when Faraday Future secures additional funding.

That's not the only depressing news from the report. Nick Sampson, one of the fledgling automaker's founders, resigned from the company on Tuesday. The Verge also obtained an email in which Sampson allegedly referred to Faraday Future as "effectively insolvent in both its financial and personnel assets."

Sampson's departure isn't the only notable departure in recent days, either. On Monday, Peter Savagian, the company's SVP of technology and product development, also left the company.

"FF is requiring certain employees to take an unpaid leave of absence (furlough) for the months of November and December and is offering other employees the option of taking the furlough for the same period of time," a Faraday Future spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "This was an extremely tough decision to make, and we recognize the emotional stress and financial strain this puts on people's personal lives. We are grateful to all of the hundreds of employees who are willing to stay and continue to work on the FF 91 core project, as well as those who will be on a temporary furlough." 

The company also confirmed both recent departures.

Last week, Faraday Future announced that it would lay off some employees, in addition to cutting hourly wages and annual salaries by 20 percent as it worked to secure additional financing. The week ended with an independent arbitrator determining that Faraday Future was free to seek funding independent of its chief investor, the Hong Kong company Evergrande Health, but new funding doesn't just arrive overnight, and it could take some time before Faraday gets the money it's after.

This story started when Evergrande assumed control of a $2 billion investment in Faraday Future. Evergrande delivered the first $800 million it promised it would, which Faraday promptly burnt through in its effort to bring its first car to market by late 2018 or early 2019. Faraday asked Evergrande for more, Evergrande said no, and the two entered a standoff that finally saw some movement when Faraday dragged Evergrande into arbitration over its unwillingness to pony up.

Faraday Future FF91: Come along as we watch the FF91 do some high-speed testing.

Faraday Future at CES 2017: It was an honest-to-goodness spectacle.