UPDATE: LinkedIn employee data shows how dire things are at Faraday Future
Update: John Schilling, Faraday Future's Director of Communications and Public Relations got back to us with some details. In short, the company has corroborated our findings here: it is not hiring, and it is experiencing attrition. His full statement follows:
Sorry for the delay. No new layoffs, a bit of attrition. We 're hovering around 400 full time, active employees in the U.S. right now. No plans to reopen hiring at this time but we are bringing back select furloughed workers on an as needed basis.
Jia Yueting's daily life looks like the stuff of dreams to any outside observer. He beat Netflix to the streaming punch in 2004 when he launched LeTV. He launched film studios, mobile phone companies, and an electric car company called Faraday Future ($FARADAYFUTURE).
In 2017, he showed the Faraday Future F91 self-driving electric car off to throngs of tech journalists at 2017's Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas. They called is a "Tesla killer." He now lives in a $9 million, six bedroom, eight bathroom mansion in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
That all sounds real nice. But employee count at Faraday Future via LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) data tells an entirely different story.
Since 2017, Faraday Future has failed to get its electric car into production. It's lost high-profile executives that it once poached from Tesla ($NASDAQ:TSLA) and Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL). The Chinese government has asked Yueting to return to China to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in debt that he left behind (instead, he sent his wife and brother to handle the matter).
Meanwhile, Faraday Futures is selling off assets including what was to be its production land in Nevada, losing investors, and becoming more of a fascinating footnote in the electric vehicle race than a true "killer."
In short, the company is seeing operations crumble, employees are walking away due to lack of pay, and they're removing Faraday Futures as their employer on LinkedIn.
In 2017, when hype for the FF91 was still healthy, Faraday Future employee count came in at 913. Data became sketchy for the company as it changed hands, gained and lost high-profile executives, and came back online in January 2019 with just over 1,000 LinkedIn members claiming Faraday as their employer.
And then the tumble began. Since the beginning of the year, more than 200 LinkedIn members have removed Faraday from their profiles.
The story of Faraday Future is still arcing — a new investment from mobile gaming company The9 has placed a $600 million carrot in front of the company should it produce hundreds of thousands of lower-cost electric vehicles in the next couple years. Whether Yueting and company can make this happen is, at this stage, anyone's guess, but we'll have our eyes on the health of the company when it comes to workforce size.
As of today, Faraday Future has 0 open jobs listed on its site, so it's unlikely its LinkedIn numbers will move in a positive direction any time soon.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.