On September 22nd, Faraday Future (referred to as FF) announced that the board of directors has appointed Matthias Aydt, who has been working at FF for many years, as the global CEO of FF, effective from September 29th, 2023. At the same time, the current global CEO of FF, Chen Xuefeng, will be based in China starting from September 29th, 2023 and continue to serve as the CEO of FF China while also taking on the role of Vice President for Global Industrialization at FF.
FF stated that going forward, Aydt will focus on driving the production and delivery of FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance, while Chen Xuefeng will shift his attention to the launch of FF 91 2.0 Futurist Alliance in China and the company’s next stage of development, including implementing the dual home market strategy between China and the United States. Additionally, Chen Xuefeng will be primarily responsible for advancing FF’s business in China, which includes establishing a joint venture company in China, entering the Chinese market, integrating the Chinese supply chain, and continuously reducing costs.
According to the information, Matthias Aydt has been working at FF for over seven years. He is currently the Executive Director of FF Products and has also held positions such as Head of FF Product Definition, Mobile Ecosystems, and Business Development. Prior to joining FF in July 2016, Matthias Aydt served as Vice President of Vehicle Engineering at Qoros Auto and held various positions at Magna Steyr.
After the appointment announcement, Matthias Aydt also stated, “FF is currently focusing on increasing the production of FF 91 and starting to generate revenue, improve product and technological capabilities, as well as develop next-generation products including artificial intelligence. I hope that my experience in high-end automotive brand’s product technology, research, and development will bring more value and leadership to FF.”
For Matthias Aydt, who is about to become the global CEO of FF, how to solve the company’s funding issues remains the biggest challenge. On September 20th, at a public event, FF founder Jia Yueting stated that in August this year, the company achieved two major milestones: firstly, completing all compliance procedures before mass production and delivery of vehicles in the United States; secondly, receiving all necessary components from the supply chain and starting vehicle deliveries to customers.
Jia Yueting stated that this is an important sign of the company’s positive fundamentals. However, he also pointed out that due to a shortage of funds, FF’s production capacity is slowly increasing and the delivery progress is slow, far from meeting market demand.
In June of this year, Jia Yueting wrote a letter to all investors, admitting that the delivery of FF 91 in the second phase was delayed and that the company was indeed facing financial problems. He proposed that low stock prices, insufficient number of shares available for issuance, and lengthy time required for share registration were three technical bottlenecks hindering FF’s financing. Therefore, FF decided to implement measures related to merger and expansion of shares to address these issues.
After the opening of the US stock market on August 28th, FF’s stocks underwent a consolidation at a ratio of 80:1. This first resolved the delisting risk faced by FF due to its persistently low stock price. Jia Yueting also stated on September 20th that FF had received compliance notice from NASDAQ last week.
However, after the merger, FF’s stock price continued to decline. On September 21st, FF’s stock price dropped by 6.15% and closed at $3.66 per share. To boost investor confidence, on September 22nd, FF announced a management increase plan which includes voluntary salary deductions and stock purchases agreements signed by company executives and management members such as Matthias Aydt, Chen Xuefeng, Jia Yueting, interim CFO Jonathan Maroko, and Chief Accountant Han Yun.
FF stated that, according to Nasdaq’s requirements, the executives and management members of these companies have committed to using 50% of their salaries to purchase Class A common stocks of the company within three months, subject to shareholder approval of the agreement. This is intended to further demonstrate their confidence in and support for the company’s business. These stocks will be locked up for a minimum of 180 days from the date of issuance, and all participants will exchange cash for Class A common stocks.
However, the impact of using management salaries to buy stocks on the capital market is very limited. Taking Chen Xuefeng as an example, according to FF’s disclosure, his annual salary will be reduced by 20% to $1.2 million because he no longer serves as global CEO, including a base salary of $750,000 and an annual performance bonus of $450,000. If calculated based on the base salary, Chen Xuefeng’s monthly funds for buying stocks in the next three months would be approximately $31,000.