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Struggling EV Startup Fisker Lays Off Hundreds Amid Financial Woes

TL;DR intro

  • Fisker Layoffs:Fisker has laid off hundreds of employees as it struggles financially.
  • Layoff Announcement:The layoffs were announced in an all-hands meeting, with indications of more to come.
  • Fisker's Future:Fisker is seeking funding, a buyout, or preparing for potential bankruptcy.

Struggling electric vehicle (EV) startup Fisker has laid off hundreds of employees in an effort to stay afloat. The company is actively seeking new funding, a potential buyout, or preparing for bankruptcy. The layoffs were announced during an all-hands meeting on Wednesday, catching many employees by surprise.

Fisker Announces Major Layoffs

Employees suspected that layoffs were imminent when the company unexpectedly directed everyone to work from home on Wednesday. According to multiple current and former employees, this was an unusual directive. During the all-hands meeting, Founder and CEO Henrik Fisker informed staff that a significant investor, along with a chief restructuring officer, pushed for the layoffs.

Henrik Fisker mentioned Heights Capital Management, an affiliate of Susquehanna International Group, during the meeting, although the exact identity of the investor behind the convertible debt remains undisclosed. Following the announcement, employees began to lose access to company systems, with many finding out about their termination through the loss of access to Microsoft services like Teams and Outlook.

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The Scale of Layoffs and Company Response

One current and one former employee estimated that approximately 150 employees remain at Fisker after the layoffs. The company had already undergone several rounds of layoffs, including a 15% reduction in February. As of April 19, Fisker employed 1,135 people, according to a regulatory filing. However, further reductions occurred in late April, May, and now, the latest round in late May.

In documents obtained by TechCrunch, DiDonato previously informed California's Employment Development Department that more than 300 workers would be laid off on June 28 if the company could not meet its operating cash requirements.

Despite the extensive layoffs, Henrik Fisker maintained a somber yet determined tone during the call. He emphasized that the company has built "something great" and will continue to sell its Ocean SUV, its only EV model currently available. He also suggested that laid-off workers could be re-hired once the company stabilizes financially.

The Impact on Employees and Fisker's Future

Many employees learned of their layoffs indirectly through lost access to company systems, and later received emails officially confirming their termination with one week of severance. Laid-off employees shared their experiences on LinkedIn, echoing similar details about the sudden nature of the layoffs.

These layoffs come amidst months of financial difficulties for Fisker, and less than a year after the company began full-scale deliveries of the Ocean SUV. The EV industry as a whole has faced significant challenges, with Fisker being one of the most affected. The company now stands at a crossroads, seeking ways to secure its future either through new funding, a buyout, or potentially facing bankruptcy.

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