Thursday, November 11, 2010

CODA Automotive Keeps Losing Top Players

As CODA Automotive gets ready to launch its much anticipated electric sedan, it was quite surprising to hear about CEO Kevin Czinger resigning nearly a week ago. And he wasn't the first. Michael A. Jackson, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution, resigned his post at CODA right before the Czinger announcement. Something very similar happened with Kerri Martin, who if memory serves, held the marketing post that Jackson took over. She had unexpectedly left for a marketing/advertising firm.

According to coverage, Czinger will be replaced by CODA's board co-chairman, Steven Heller, on an interim basis, pending a search. Czinger and Heller are both former Goldman Sachs executives, which helped CODA raise money. We were able to interview Czinger last year during a day of test driving the upcoming CODA sedan, and learned much about the global supply chain relationships and joint ventures being created in China and throughout the US. Czinger was new to the auto industry, but could explain in great detail the organizational dynamics required for CODA to succeed. The transition has been in the works for a while, according to the company, and Czinger will continue to be a substantial investor.

As the company gets ready to take on the EV market, stability and credibility will be very important to restore.


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