Coda Automotive CEO Kevin Czinger

Coda Automotive CEO Kevin Czinger

In a continuing run of managerial musical chairs and corporate re-structuring at CODA Automotive, CEO Kevin Czinger has resigned.

CODA automotive’s first car, the 2011 Coda Sedan is due to launch before the end of 2010. Priced at $44,900, it costs $12,000 more than its closest rival, the 2011 Nissan Leaf. 

Czinger’s departure comes less than a week after the news that that Michael Jackson, CODA’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Distribution had resigned his position in the company in order to start his own firm. 

In a press release posted on CODA Automotive’s web site, the company noted that Czinger’s departure was both by “mutual consent” and that “The company noted that the realignment was part of its ongoing plan, at this stage in its growth, to set in place a team with deep manufacturing, marketing and sales strengths.”

Although Czinger will no longer occupy a position within the company, he will remain a shareholder and offer his services to the company as a Senior Strategic Advisor.

Replacing Czinger as interim CEO is Steven Heller, who was previously co-chairman on CODA’s board.  Before working at CODA, Heller had worked for worldwide investment bank Goldman Sachs for over 20 years. 

Talking about the management turnover, Heller said “I believe the depth of CODA’s management team combined with the high caliber of its engineering talent will allow CODA to continue in its mission to accelerate the adoption of all-electric vehicles.”

Another change within the company sees its chief financial officer, Mark Jamieson take on an additional role within CODA as chief operating officer. 

Such turbulent changes of board members is bound to impact on the company reputation and perhaps mar the image potential customers have of the Santa Monica based company. It hardly breeds confidence in a company which has yet to open a showroom, or offer public test drives of its car. 

CODA’s rapid restructuring less than eight weeks before it is due to deliver its first cars to customers is particularly worrying. Is the company going to be able to make good on its promises, or does this rapid restructuring spell rougher sailing for the company?

The water isn’t particularly clear, but one thing is clear. CODA needs to look ahead for icebergs. 

 [Coda Automotive]