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EV startup Arrival appoints former Marvel boss as interim CEO

Arrival CEO
Image credit: George Simister

Struggling electric van startup Arrival has appointed the former head of Marvel Entertainment, Peter Cuneo, as interim chief executive after founder Denis Sverdlov stepped down as CEO.

Sverdlov will swap jobs with Cuneo, who had previously been Arrival’s chairman of the board. Cuneo was head of Marvel Entertainment until its sale to Disney in 2009 for $4bn.

Arrival is in need of superhero leadership to turn around a year marred by financial difficulties. A strategy to switch production of its electric vans from the UK to the US backfired and the company has since cut jobs and missed targets.

Speaking on the new role, Peter Cuneo said: “I intend to bring the full depth of my experience to this operational role, ensuring that the company executes on its next set of strategic goals. I look forward to working closely with Denis, the rest of the board and our employees for the benefit of all Arrival’s stakeholders.”

London-headquartered Arrival listed in the US in March last year via a merger with a blank cheque company at a $13bn valuation. Its share price has since slumped and earlier this month it received a non-compliance letter from the Nasdaq stock exchange as its share price was too low.

Arrival is building electric vehicles using cell-based robotic assembly lines in localised micro-factories. This means that the factories can be set up quickly in warehouses to meet demand in an area.

Earlier this year it moved production from Bicester, Oxfordshire to its facility in North Carolina, US. Arrival previously said in its Q2 results that deliveries of its van would roll out of Bicester later this year.

Plans for its other electric vehicles a bus and car were brought to a halt in August to focus attention on its van. Orders for its vans include 100,000 from shipping service UPS.

Denis Sverdlov, founder of Arrival, said: “I am more committed than ever to ensuring Arrival’s success, and I will continue to act in the best interests of the company, shareholders, customers, partners and employees.”