5301 Battery startup Britishvolt CEO to step down

Battery startup Britishvolt CEO to step down

Orral Nadjari, the founder and CEO of UK battery startup Britishvolt, will step down from his leadership position, the company said. 

Deputy CEO and president of global operations Graham Hoare, a longtime auto industry executive, will be interim CEO, Britishvolt said Friday in a news release. 

Nadjari, a former investment banker based in Abu Dhabi, founded Britishvolt in 2019 with Lars Carlstrom, who was forced out of the company in 2020 after reports that he had been convicted of tax fraud in Sweden in the 1990s.

Britishvolt told The Guardian that the production pause affected only parts of the factory as it awaited final designs due in autumn.

Hoare joined Britishvolt in June 2021 from Ford Motor Co., where he was chairman of Ford of Britain. He started at Ford in 2002, and before that held management positions at Jaguar Land Rover and BMW.

Britishvolt is working with UK sports-car makers Aston Martin and Lotus to develop high-performance EV batteries. It is building a battery factory in Northumberland, England, that could eventually supply batteries for 300,000 EVs a year, and provide 3,000 direct jobs.

In January of this year, the UK government said it would support Britishvolt through a 100 million pound ($118 million) grant from its Automotive Transition Fund, as the country seeks to develop a domestic battery industry to help secure future production of electric vehicles.

The final grant offer from the fund was announced at the end of July. 

The government backing is expected to unlock 1.7 billion pounds ($2.12 billion) in private funding for the factory, Britishvolt has said. 

See also  Ferrari faces new leadership crisis as CEO abruptly steps down

The executive turnover at Britishvolt comes amid reports that the factory plans are on “life support” to cut costs, according to an article this month in The Guardian newspaper. The report said that work on the factory has been severely restricted until February as Britishvolt works to secure more funding and power supply infrastructure.

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