Ford Motor no longer has a representative on Rivian's board of directors, despite the fact that the company has often emphasized its strategic connection with the electric vehicle maker.
According to documents made public by Rivian on Oct. 1 ahead of its anticipated initial public offering, Ford executive Alexandra Ford English departed the board of directors in May without making a statement.
On Wednesday, Ford spokesman Ian Thibodeau said, "Rivian is a strategic investment, and we're currently investigating avenues for potential collaboration with them; we don't have anything to announce today."
Ford had a position on the Rivian board while it was a private company, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but Thibodeau said that would no longer be the case once the company became public.
In May 2020, English, the daughter of Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, joined Rivian's board of directors, succeeding Joe Hinrichs, who had departed Ford. Rivian Chief Executive R.J. Scaringe cited her passion for mobility and electrification, as well as her ties to the company's long family history in transportation, as reasons for the addition of English.
Rivian, citing the quiet period, declined to comment on Wednesday beyond documentation it submitted with US regulators.
Rivian declined to comment on Wednesday other than the documents it filed with US regulators, citing the quiet period leading up to its first public offering. "Following this transaction, none of our investors will have any contractual rights to elect or appoint members of our board of directors," Rivian stated in the SEC filing.
English was named as the No. 2 U.S. automaker's representative on Rivian's board when Ford announced her appointment to the board in March. In May, she was formally elected to Ford's board of directors.
Although Ford executives have stated that the company's connection with Rivian is crucial, Ford's Lincoln division suspended plans to produce electric vehicles with Rivian in April 2020 in order to conserve money during the epidemic.
According to the SEC filing, Ford has invested more than $820 million in Rivian during two financing rounds. The filing omitted information on Rivian's most recent $2.5 billion funding round, which included Ford and was revealed in July.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's chief product platform, and operations officer, referred to Rivian as a strategic partner in May and stated that Ford was still considering employing Rivian's products.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a February conference call with analysts, "We admire R.J.'s work at Rivian. This is a long-term investment. It isn't a one-time investment. We'll keep you informed, but that's a pretty safe guess."