What caused the abrupt resignation of Henrik Fisker from Fisker Automotive this month? A dispute with CEO Tony Posawatz over strategy, including whether to accept more government money, sources told Reuters.
The two men tangled as the troubled electric vehicle maker tried to find an investor to buy a stake and help build its second model, the Atlantic plug-in hybrid.
Early speculation was that Fisker left because the company he founded in 2007 would be sold to Zhejiang Geely of China, owner of Volvo. Geely has since bowed out of bidding, sources have said.
While Fisker and Posawatz agreed that the company needed a partner after the delayed introduction of the Karma plug-in hybrid, they differed on whether to rely on federal funds and on the extent of the financing needed, according to the Reuters report.
Posawatz, a former General Motors engineer who has been CEO since August, wanted to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to regain access to a $529 million federal loan, the sources said. The DOE had barred the company from drawing down the remaining $336 million of the loan because of the delayed Karma launch.
But Fisker was opposed to relying on additional federal funds, and also favored a smaller operating budget than Posawatz. One source told Reuters the difference between the two budgets was in the "hundreds of millions."