The wave of layoffs at electric car venture Better Place Inc. is continuing. The company will fire another 150-200 employees after the recent layoff of 140 employees. Before the layoffs began, Better Place had 400 employees in Israel.
Better Place's newly appointed CEO Evan Thornley is leading the reorganization process and substantial cuts in expenses. Most of the employees being fired are in development, software and information control but some of the layoffs are among management.
Better Place is undergoing a huge shakeup following the ousting of founder and CEO Shai Agassi and the departure of Better Place Israel CEO Moshe Kaplinsky and several senior VPs.
Last month Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) injected an additional $33 million into the electric car venture as part of an additional $100 million financing round of which Israel Corp. will contribute $67 million.
Better Place said in response, "Over the past two months, the company has been undergoing reorganization in order to simplify, and to streamline the organization's structure and adapt it for long-term success. At the moment, we are proceeding with the completion of the 2013 work plan and ensuring the required resources for implementing the plan. Consequently, we are being compelled to part with more colleagues, who have contributed in a vital and significant way to the company's success since its establishment. This is a painful measure, especially for these employees, but it will allow the company to come through more efficient and stronger."
Meanwhile Better Place has reported that it only sold 23 cars in November - the lowest figure since it started marketing vehicles this year. Sources inform "Globes" that the major leasing companies that signed agreements with Better Place have frozen all new orders from the electric vehicle company, including from institutional customers who had already ordered cars. This will remain in force until the business picture at Better Place becomes clear or sufficient financial guarantees are provided to meet commitments to buy the cars that will be returned to the leasing companies.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 2, 2012
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