- After about three years in the position
- XF Chen taking over
(exechange) — Los Angeles, California, November 28, 2022 — Carsten Breitfeld, chief executive of Faraday Future, leaves his position. As announced by Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 28, 2022, Carsten Breitfeld has left his post as chief executive officer at the electric vehicle company, after about three years in the role, effective November 27, 2022.
The average tenure of CEOs who announced their departure over the past 12 months was 8.3 years. This is according to data collected by research firm exechange.
exechange tracks CEO departures at the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., examines the reasons CEOs leave and determines the Push‑out Score™, a measure of pressure on departing chief executives on a scale of 0 to 10.
Carsten Breitfeld’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Xuefeng (XF) Chen, most recently China CEO at Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc.
“Following a comprehensive evaluation of the Company’s performance”
Carsten Breitfeld’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Faraday Future said: “Mr. Chen replaces Carsten Breitfeld, who was removed as Global CEO by the FFIE Board of Directors following a comprehensive evaluation of the Company’s performance since it went public in July 2021. Pursuant to the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, management directors are required to tender their resignation from the Board upon their removal as an officer of the Company. The Board has requested that Mr. Breitfeld tender his resignation from the Board in accordance with such Corporate Governance Guidelines. As Global CEO, Mr. Chen is tasked with delivering the FF 91 Futurist to market, delivering on the promise made to FF stockholders, investors, global partners, users and employees.”
The three most common reasons given for CEO departures over the past 12 months are performance issues (24.2% of cases), reference to a planned succession (17.6%) and the statement that now was the right time for a change (9.1%), according to exechange data. Other reasons given for CEO departures included pursuit of other opportunities (6.3% of cases), personal reasons (3.5%) and conduct issues (2.5%). Rather rarely mentioned departure reasons are health problems (2.2% of cases), career change (2.2%), time with family (0.9%), disagreement (0.6%) and death (0.6%). Sometimes, more than one reason was given. In 30.2% of cases, no reason was given.
Precise information regarding Carsten Breitfeld’s future plans was not immediately available.
Faraday Future said: “Mr. Chen replaces Carsten Breitfeld, who was removed as Global CEO by the FFIE Board of Directors following a comprehensive evaluation of the Company’s performance since it went public in July 2021.”
Faraday Future further said: “On November 26, 2022, the Board voted to remove Dr. Carsten Breitfeld as Global CEO. As of the Effective Date, Dr. Carsten Breitfeld has been provided written notice of the Board’s decision. Pursuant to the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, management directors are required to tender their resignation from the Board upon their removal as an officer of the Company. Accordingly, the Board has requested and Dr. Breitfeld is expected to tender his resignation from the Board in accordance with such Corporate Governance Guidelines, which the Board expects to accept immediately.”
Share price decline since November 2021
The announcement follows a decline in Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc.’s share price of 96% since November 2021.
In the position of CEO since 2019
Carsten Breitfeld became CEO of the Company in 2019.
Carsten Breitfeld has served as FF’s Global Chief Executive Officer since September 2019 and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since July 2021.
Breitfeld is a veteran in the automotive industry and had held various positions with BMW Group for approximately 20 years, including serving as its Group Vice President and Head of the i8 Vehicle Program, which gave birth to the i8 luxury plug-in hybrid model.
From July 2016 to January 2019, Breitfeld was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of BYTON, a Chinese electric vehicle startup with operations in multiple countries and cofounded by Breitfeld.
Breitfeld received his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hannover.
No statement by Carsten Breitfeld
A statement by Carsten Breitfeld is not included in the official leadership-change announcement.
Over the past 12 months, 26% of all outgoing CEOs remained silent in the departure announcement, according to data compiled by exechange. Departing CEOs who did make a statement said an average of 111 words. The longest statement was 382 words, and the shortest statement was 23 words. Statistically, management changes are associated with high pressure when outgoing CEOs provide conspicuously short or no explanations of their move, according to exechange data.
30% of CEOs are forced out or fired
When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position.
Of the 318 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (November 28, 2021, to November 27, 2022), the average Push-out Score was 5.4, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When time with family, performance issues or personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.
Around 30% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.
In other words, in the past 12 months, three in 10 departing CEOs were forced out, fired or stepped down under extreme pressure.
Pressure in the consumer discretionary sector substantially above average
Some industries are under generally higher pressure than others, and CEOs are feeling the strain. In the past 12 months, the communication, health care and consumer staples sectors showed the highest average Push-out Scores. By contrast, pressure on CEOs was lowest in the real estate, industrials and financials sectors, as measured by average Push-out Scores.
In the consumer discretionary sector, which includes Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc., the average Push-out Score over the past 12 months was 5.9, which is substantially above the average.
In the consumer discretionary sector, 19 exiting CEOs received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher over the past 12 months, indicating that they were forced out or stepped down under extreme pressure.
Push-out Score for Carsten Breitfeld’s move determined
The Push-out Score regarding Carsten Breitfeld’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.
exechange reached out to Faraday Future and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.
Read the full story in the exechange report 49.2022 ($).