Sunday, December 5, 2021

Former Rivian executive sues over ‘toxic marriage culture’ ahead of IPO

The former Rivian executive sued the electric truck maker ahead of the public offering, saying she was fired last month after complaining about “toxic brother culture” and gender discrimination.

Laura Schwab, who was vice president of sales and marketing, claimed she was “suddenly” fired after she complained about a “textbook on gender bias” and discrimination from senior management, according to a copy of the lawsuit provided by her lawyers.

Schwab claims that Rivian, in which Amazon owns 20% of the shares, violated the California labor code, tarnished its reputation and caused emotional pain, the lawsuit said. “Rivian’s illegal behavior also cost Ms. Schwab millions of dollars in undue capital ahead of the company’s IPO,” her lawyers said in a lawsuit.

Schwab joined the Irvine, California-based company in November 2020. She said she was offered a base salary of $ 360,000, a 40% bonus, a $ 4,000 scholarship per month, a $ 100,000 signup bonus, and $ 1.5 million in home equity as a unit with limited supply. Rivian plans to conduct an initial public offering later this month, bringing the company to an estimated $ 60 billion.

“Rivian is publicly bragging about its culture, so it was a devastating blow to me when I joined the company and almost immediately experienced a toxic marriage culture that marginalizes women and encourages the company to make mistakes,” Schwab wrote on his blog on Thursday.

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A spokesman for Rivian declined to comment, citing a quiet period before the initial public offering.

In her lawsuit, Schwab argues that Rivian Chief Commercial Officer Jiten Belle “regularly excluded her from meetings” and made decisions about her team “without her participation, but with the participation of men from different teams, and dismissed the legitimate concerns she had about entering misleading Rivian’s public statements. and imperfect business practices. “

Schwab said she warned that car sales would lead to losses because they would be “understated,” production needed to be “improved” before promising a safe car to consumers, and that the company’s regulatory statement that 1,000 vehicles would be delivered c According to her complaint, the year 2021 has not been reached.

Schwab’s lawyers said the lawsuit was filed Thursday in the California Supreme Court in Orange County. They said they also filed a lawsuit with the American Arbitration Association on Thursday.

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