Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe is now taking over the top product role at the EV maker

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe has taken on another role within the publicly traded EV maker as chief product officer Nick Kalayjian moves out of the job and eventually into an advisory position, according to a regulatory filing and internal emails viewed by TechCrunch. Scaringe will now be responsible for all product development — a critical position at a company working on a next-generation platform that is supposed to deliver more affordable EVs and help catapult Rivian into the mass market.

Kalayjian will move to the role of executive vice president of vehicle engineering and propulsion and will continue to report to the CEO. Scaringe said in an an internal email viewed by TechCrunch that Kalayjian will be focused on “Peregrine” (the next-gen platform that will be used across all vehicles – R1, R2 and the electric delivery van) before he ultimately transfers to a product and technology advisory role.

“You have heard me repeatedly state in our company updates, it is critical that quality plays a central role across our business – this not only drives how our brand is perceived but it is a major enabler for our continued ramp,” Scaringe wrote in his email to employees.

In a separate internal email, Kalayjian wrote:

With this, the time has come for me to make a change. Over the last few months, I’ve taken time to Zoom Out and have been talking with RJ to understand how my involvement could continue to allow me to have an impact while letting me step back from my existing role. My desire to make changes aligns perfectly with RJ’s desire to redirect more of his time and energy toward Product leadership. I have never met anyone in my life or career who is a better mix of engineer and visionary product leader than RJ. I know that him spending more time working with our Product teams will create significant value for all of us and our shareholders.

The move includes some other shuffling on the executive team, specifically on who reports to Scaringe and Kalayjian.

Richard Farquhar, who has been vice president of propulsion, will be stepping away from his current role December 11 and into a new role as senior vice president of future R&D.  He will report to Scaringe upon his return next year. Quality and reliability teams led by Brad Thacker and Georgios Sarakakis will also report directly to Scaringe.

Paul Frey, who heads up the charging, energy and adventure products, will now be responsible for battery as well and will continue to report to Kalayjian. Silva Hiti, senior director of electric power conversion, and Henry Huang, senior director of power and thermal engineering, will also report directly to Kalayjian.

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