Fisker cuts hundreds of workers in bid to keep EV startup alive

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Struggling EV startup Fisker has laid off hundreds of employees in a bid to stay alive, as it continues to search for funding, a buyout or prepare for bankruptcy.

Workers suspected layoffs were coming when the company directed everyone to work from home on Wednesday — an out-of-character directive, according to multiple current and former employees. The layoffs were announced during an all-hands meeting held Wednesday morning.

Founder and CEO Henrik Fisker told employees that the large investor his company owes money to — and the chief restructuring officer working on the investor’s behalf — wanted to let more people go, according to employees who attended. Fisker has never disclosed who is ultimately behind the convertible debt investment in question, though Henrik Fisker did reference Heights Capital Management during Wednesday’s meeting when discussing the layoffs, according to the two employees. Heights Capital Management is an affiliate of financial services giant Susquehanna International Group.

After that, people started “dropping like flies,” one employee told TechCrunch.

One current and one laid off employee estimated that only about 150 people remain at the company.

Fisker has already gone through several rounds of layoffs. It announced cuts of 15% in February. Fisker employed 1,135 people as of April 19, according to a regulatory filing. Those workforce numbers were reduced by an unknown amount after another round of layoffs in late April, and another series in late May before Wednesday’s cuts.

Fisker did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Restructuring officer John DiDonato also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DiDonato previously told California’s Employment Development Department on April 29 that it planned to lay off more than 300 workers on June 28 if the company was “unable to address its operating cash requirements,” according to documents obtained by TechCrunch.

Despite the widespread cuts, Henrik Fisker struck a somber-but-determined tone during the call, according to sources. At one point, he noted that the company built “something great” and would continue to sell its one and only EV — the Ocean SUV — to people who want to buy them.

He also suggested that laid off workers would be re-hired once the company is back up and running, according to the account of one person who attended the meeting.

Many workers initially learned they were laid off after losing access to Microsoft services like Teams or Outlook. Later in the day, some employees received an email officially announcing they were terminated with one week of severance. Laid-off employees echoed similar details in posts on LinkedIn.

These new layoffs come after months of troubles at Fisker, and less than a year after the company began full-scale deliveries of the Ocean SUV.



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