Rivian Automotive
Frank Klein

Rivian Finds Future COO at Magna International Division

March 14, 2022
The veteran auto industry executive has in the past led Daimler’s van operations and will join the EV maker in early June.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive Inc. has recruited a former division executive of Magna International Inc. and Daimler AG to be its chief operations officer.

Frank Klein will start this new job at California-headquartered Rivian June 1 and will oversee the company’s work at its Normal, Illinois, plant—where he will be based—and its future factory in Georgia and add to the attention the company is paying to more tightly integrating its logistics and manufacturing teams. He will fill a seat left vacant late last year by the departure of Rod Copes.

“I'm hugely excited to be joining Rivian,” Klein said in a statement. “It's a company creating industry-leading products and services that are helping to shape the future of the automotive industry.”

Klein was most recently president at Austria-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr, a unit of industry giant Magna, since mid-2020. There, he oversaw the company’s move into electric mobility manufacturing. Before joining Magna Steyr in April 2019, he worked at Daimler for 27 years and rose to lead the company’s van operations. During his time with the company, he also led the setup of a Mercedes-Benz plant in Hungary.

Word of Klein’s hiring comes just a few days after Rivian Founder, Chairman and CEO RJ Scaringe and his senior team said they were cutting their 2022 production forecast in half to 25,000 units because of ongoing supply chain problems. The company now has about 83,000 reservations on its books. On a conference call with analysts last week, Scaringe stuck to a previous target of delivering 55,000 vehicles by late next year.

Shares of Rivian, which have lost more than half of their value since going public in November, were down more than 6% to about $36 (Ticker: RIVN) in late-morning trading March 14.

About the Author

Geert De Lombaerde | Senior Editor

A native of Belgium, Geert De Lombaerde has been in business journalism since the mid-1990s and writes about public companies, markets and economic trends for Endeavor Business Media publications, focusing on IndustryWeek, FleetOwner, Oil & Gas JournalT&D World and Healthcare Innovation. He also curates the twice-monthly Market Moves Strategy newsletter that showcases Endeavor stories on strategy, leadership and investment and contributes to other Market Moves newsletters.

With a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, he began his reporting career at the Business Courier in Cincinnati in 1997, initially covering retail and the courts before shifting to banking, insurance and investing. He later was managing editor and editor of the Nashville Business Journal before being named editor of the Nashville Post in early 2008. He led a team that helped grow the Post's online traffic more than fivefold before joining Endeavor in September 2021.

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