Polestar chair steps down as EV maker faces stock decline



Polestar’s chairman plans to step down as part of a broader board shuffle for an electric vehicle maker battling operational challenges and stock woes.

Håkan Samuelsson, the former chief executive officer of Volvo Car, will be replaced as board chair by current director Winfried Vahland, Polestar said Tuesday in a statement. Another board member, Carla De Geyseleer, won’t stand for reelection at the upcoming annual shareholder meeting, the company said.

Polestar has proposed Christine Gorjanc and Xiaojie Shen as new directors.




The changes come amid a steady, two-year-long decline in the share price. Since its New York listing via a blank-check merger in 2022, Polestar has been struggling with operational challenges, including the manufacturer’s slower-than-expected ramp up and a cooling demand for EVs. Last month, Nasdaq warned the company it could be delisted after management failed to file a 2023 annual report with the US securities regulator on time. Samuelsson was a driving force in the stock market listings of both Polestar and Volvo.

Earlier this year Volvo distributed a large part of its Polestar stake to shareholders — namely entities of parent company Geely — to relieve some of the pressure on its own balance sheet. Since the listing, the EV maker has repeatedly tapped its largest owners for funds.

When the share transfer and new ownership structure was announced in February, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Ingenlath said it would give Polestar “a more defined and diversified ownership structure” and position it as a “strong, more independent brand” in the Geely ecosystem. Despite the measures, Polestar’s shares have slumped another roughly 69% this year, giving the maker of the Polestar 4 SUV a market valuation of $1.5 billion.

 

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