Henrik Fisker Leaves Fisker Automotive

By · March 13, 2013

Henrik Fisker founded Fisker in 2007 but left today after "several major disagreements" with management.

Henrik Fisker resigned from Fisker Automotive today, citing “several major disagreements” with executive management over “business strategy.” Fisker’s resignation, effective immediately, comes as the carmaker he founded back in 2007 is engaged in negotiations with a pair of Chinese automakers to sell a controlling stake in the company in an effort to raise enough capital to build its second vehicle, the Atlantic, and resume production of the Fisker Karma.

“The Company recognizes and thanks Mr. Fisker for his service and many contributions,” the carmaker said today a statement to the press. “The Company has a strong and experienced management team and its strategy has not changed. Mr. Fisker's departure is not expected to impact the Company's pursuit of strategic partnerships and financing to support Fisker Automotive's continued progress as a pioneer of low-emission hybrid electric powertrain technology.”

Fisker’s departure is just the latest in a series of shake-ups aimed at delivering the company from a period that has seen its operations and vehicle development stalled by setbacks ranging from the Department of Energy’s decision to freeze the remainder of a $528.7 billion loan, to the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, A123.

Fisker stepped down as CEO of the carmaker in 2012 to take on the role of executive chairman, which saw him acting as a brand ambassador and retaining involvement the design of future vehicles. He was replaced by former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, who acted on an interim basis before being supplanted by former GM electric vehicle director Tony Posawatz.

Recently, Reuters reported that Fisker Automotive had received bids of between $200-$300 million from Chinese carmakers Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group. Posawatz told Automotive News this morning that Fisker is “in the midst of some serious negotiating” regarding the bids.

Four years ago, Mr. Fisker, Shai Agassi and Elon Musk stood as a trio of charismatic visionaries who were successful in raising billions of dollars in capital for their respective electric vehicle startups. Today, only Musk remains at the head of the company he helped build alongside Martin Eberhard.

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