If you’ve followed the story of Faraday Future, you know the electric autonomous vehicle start-up has dealt with an endless string of financial problems. FF’s main financier, the Chinese tech giant LeEco, has issues of its own, with its CEO Jia Yuenting consistently being questioned over his leadership and financial acumen. Now, Jia—the main face and quasi-CEO of FF—is stepping down from the top slot at LeEco, announcing this weekend that he’s resigning as CEO but will stay with the company as chairman of its main unit, Leshi Holdings.
According to Reuters, Jia wrote in a letter to LeEco staff that his focus on LeEco’s privately-held businesses has dragged down Leshi. (Not to make things entirely confusing, as there’s a ton of company names here, but just know that Leshi is considered a “partner” in Faraday’s effort to develop its flagship car, the FF 91.
Here’s more from Reuters:
“I had expressed my apologies and gratitude to investors at the end of last year and promised to refocus on our listed businesses,” Jia said in the letter.
“After we introduced the second-largest and strategic shareholder (Sunac), we formally initiated a major restructuring of Leshi.”
Jia, who is continuing as chairman of Leshi, said he will “focus on the governance, strategic planning and core product innovation” of LeEco’s listed units.
Jia said in March that LeEco has been dealing with a “cash crunch,” and the company has been forced to put up for sale land it purchased not even a year ago for $250 million. The tech giant also had to bail on plans to buy TV maker Vizio.
For now, it’s more of the same at Faraday; FF has insisted it plans to restart construction on its Nevada factory this year, but it’s just waiting on more money to come through.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see if Jia stepping aside from LeEco is all that’s needed to help move FF along.