RIVN Stock Alert: Why Key Executives Are Walking Away From Rivian thumbnail

RIVN Stock Alert: Why Key Executives Are Walking Away From Rivian

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Rivian (RIVN) car manufacturing plant. Rivian develops vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation.

Source: James Yarbrough / Shutterstock.com

Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) stock is in the green today, although the company appears to be facing an exodus of top executives. Over the past few months, four major employees have left the company:

  1. Randy Frank, Vice President of Body and Interior Engineering. Frank joined Rivian in 2019 after leaving a position at Ford (NYSE:F).
  2. Steve Gawronski, Vice President of Supply Chain. Gawronski joined Rivian in 2018 after leaving a position at Zoox.
  3. Patrick Hunt, Senior Director of Strategy. Hunt joined Rivian in 2015 and departed near the end of 2022.
  4. Neil Sitron, General Counsel. Sitron joined Rivian in 2018 and departed in September 2022.

Per The Wall Street Journal, a Rivian spokeswoman declined to comment on individual departures, although she did say Rivian continues to “attract world class talent” as the company’s “business needs change.” Attracting talented employees may help the electric vehicle (EV) company ramp up production in a more timely and efficient manner.

RIVN Stock: Rivian Faces Several Executive Departures

So, why exactly are these upper-level employees leaving? As of now, it’s not exactly clear where they are headed. A move to to a competitor company, such as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) or Ford would certainly not convey a positive signal, however.

Meanwhile, Rivian has dealt with a difficult past year on the heels of rising inflation, lower consumer sentiment and supply-chain inefficiencies. Further, the company recently missed its full-year 2022 production guidance of 25,000 vehicles by about 2.6%. At the beginning of 2022, Rivian originally set its production guidance for 50,000 vehicles.

For 2022, the company instead produced 24,337 vehicles, up 36% quarter-over-quarter (QOQ). It also delivered 20,332 vehicles. However, the company actually produced 25,051 vehicles in total, although about 700 vehicles were not “factory-gated,” or approved for sale to customers. As of Nov. 7, Rivian had 114,000 preorders for its R1T and R1S vehicles and a 100,000 electric delivery van (EDV) order from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Some of the EDVs from the Amazon order have already been fulfilled.

Make no mistake, 36% QOQ production growth is very impressive. On the other hand, RIVN stock is by no means “cheap.” The company has a price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 14.99x, compared to 5.64x for Tesla and 0.35x for Ford.

Looking forward, more details on deliveries and preorders should be available when Rivian reports its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Feb. 28.

On the date of publication, Eddie Pan held a long position in AMZN. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Eddie Pan specializes in institutional investments and insider activity. He writes for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team, which centers on the latest news involving popular stocks.