Fisker Lays Off Hundreds to Save EV Startup


Struggling EV startup Fisker has let go of hundreds of employees as it fights to stay afloat, searching for funding, a buyer, or preparing for possible bankruptcy.

Employees anticipated the layoffs when the company unusually directed everyone to work from home on Wednesday, as reported by multiple current and former staff members. The layoffs were officially announced during an all-hands meeting held that morning.

According to attendees, Founder and CEO Henrik Fisker mentioned that the major investor Fisker owes money to, along with the chief restructuring officer working for that investor, wanted more layoffs. While the identity of the investor behind the convertible debt has not been disclosed, Henrik Fisker referred to Heights Capital Management during the meeting, as per two employees. Heights Capital Management is associated with financial services giant Susquehanna International Group.

One current and one former employee estimate that roughly 150 staff members remain at Fisker.

The company has undergone several rounds of layoffs. In February, it announced a 15% reduction in workforce. According to a regulatory filing, Fisker had 1,135 employees as of April 19. This number decreased with another round of layoffs in late April and further cuts in late May before the latest reductions.

Requests for comments from Fisker and restructuring officer John DiDonato went unanswered. DiDonato had previously informed California’s Employment Development Department on April 29 about potential layoffs of over 300 workers on June 28 if the company couldn’t meet its operating cash needs, according to documents.

Despite the extensive layoffs, Henrik Fisker maintained a resolute yet somber tone in the call, sources said. He acknowledged the company’s accomplishments and emphasized that they would continue selling their only EV, the Ocean SUV, to interested buyers.

He also hinted that the laid-off employees might be rehired once the company stabilizes, according to one attendee.

Many employees first learned of their termination when they lost access to Microsoft services like Teams or Outlook. Later, some received an official email confirming their layoff with a week’s severance. Similar details were shared by former employees on LinkedIn.

These recent layoffs come amid ongoing struggles at Fisker, and less than a year after the company started full-scale deliveries of the Ocean SUV.

Sean O'Kane
Sean O'Kane
Sean O'Kane is a reporter who has spent a decade covering the rapidly-evolving business and technology of the transportation industry, including Tesla and the many startups chasing Elon Musk. Most recently, he was a reporter at Bloomberg News where he helped break stories about some of the most notorious EV SPAC flops.

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