Before Aston Martin, Schwab was marketing director for Jaguar Land Rover. She was recruited by Aston Martin, where one of her last jobs was the successful launch of the DBX performance SUV. She was among a number of senior managers with experience at automakers and elsewhere recruited by Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe last year as the company prepared to launch its first electric vehicle, the R1T pickup.
Schwab has been outspoken on women joining the auto industry, and while at Aston, Schwab helped bolster the automaker’s ranks of female employees. In 2020, Schwab was named one of Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. She has more than 23 years experience in automotive.
The blog post paints a negative picture of Rivian’s corporate culture: “The company’s founder, R.J. Scaringe, was clearly and literally in the driver’s seat, and he surrounded himself with a tight knit group of men who constantly had his ear," Schwab wrote. "Many of these men had worked together before or hired one another and had created their own ‘boys’ club.’ The bro culture affected how the most important decisions were being made at the company.
“Despite my 20 years of auto experience, and my position as VP of Sales and Marketing, I was excluded from crucial meetings that impacted our mission and my team. Time and time again, I raised concerns regarding vehicle pricing and manufacturing deadlines, but no one listened, even though I have extensive experience launching and pricing vehicles. It wasn’t until my (often less experienced) male colleagues raised the exact same ideas that the Chief Commercial Officer would respond. Never in my years in the auto industry had I experienced such blatant marginalization.”
Meanwhile, former Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer came to Schwab's defense late Thursday in a tweet.
"Laura is one of the most professional Sales & Marketing Execs I’ve had the pleasure to work with," the tweet said. "I’ve no idea why you’d hire someone of this quality and then not listen to them!"