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Debt-Plagued Jia Yueting Steps Down as Faraday CEO, Sets Up Debt Repayment Trust

By Isabelle Li / Sep 04, 2019 03:45 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Yet another title is falling off the resume of Jia Yueting, the former tech highflyer whose LeEco online video empire went through a slow-motion implosion dating back to 2016 after taking on too much debt.

The embattled entrepreneur will step down from one of his last remaining top-dog posts, namely that of CEO at Faraday Future, the electric vehicle (EV) maker he founded that has become the focus of his efforts since being ousted from LeEco. He will be succeeded by Carsten Breitfeld, formerly a vice president at BWM, Faraday announced Tuesday.

But Jia, who holds 33% of Faraday Future’s shares, won’t be leaving the company just yet. After giving up the CEO title, he will assume a role as its Chief Product and User Officer, cleverly abbreviated as CPUO, the statement said. That means he’ll oversee product definition, user experience and other operational tasks. Faraday also announced it has kicked off an official search for a global chairman.

Faced with large debts that have many putting claims on his assets, including his Faraday shares, Jia has established a “debt repayment trust” to deal with those obligations and “has made it a priority to repay them as quickly as he can,” Faraday said in the statement, without elaborating on the nature of the debts or the trust.

“I gave up everything to make sure Faraday Future will succeed, and to fully repay my remaining guarantor debt as soon as possible, and ultimately to realize the dream of revolutionizing the automotive industry,” said Jia, who owes LeEco 6.7 billion yuan ($933 million) alone.

Read the story in full later today on Caixin Global.

Related: Electric-Car Maker Faraday Future’s Financial Lifeline Delayed

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