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Rivian Appoints Javier Varela as Chief Operations Officer

javier varela

Today, Rivian Automotive, Inc. unveiled Javier Varela as its new Chief Operations Officer, tasked with enhancing operational

Today, Rivian Automotive, Inc. unveiled Javier Varela as its new Chief Operations Officer, tasked with enhancing operational efficiencies, particularly in the production of its midsized SUV, R2. Varela, formerly the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Volvo Cars, will commence his role at Rivian in August, reporting directly to Rivian Founder and Chief Executive Officer RJ Scaringe.

Varela succeeds Frank Klein, who has served as Rivian’s COO since June 2022. Klein is stepping down after leading the buildout of Rivian’s operations, as well as scaling vehicle production of the EDV and R1 programs.

Varela has spent the last eight years at Volvo Cars, where he led the engineering, program management, manufacturing, supply chain and procurement organizations. He oversaw the company’s three main regions, including 14 industrial sites, engineering sites and tech hubs worldwide. He began his career at PSA Group (now Stellantis) in 1990.

At Rivian, Varela will be central to the company’s growth and profitability. He will oversee operations including procurement, manufacturing, logistics and quality.

“We are thrilled that Javier is bringing his deep experience in the automotive industry to Rivian as we are focused on profitability, operational excellence and delivering R2 to customers as soon as possible,” said RJ Scaringe. “Javier has a strong background in engineering, program management and innovation and a proven track record of success across a range of operating environments. We look forward to welcoming Javier to Rivian. We also thank Frank for his many contributions to Rivian and wish him the best in his next chapter.”

Varela joins Rivian as the company prepares the Normal factory for start of production of R2, its midsize platform unveiled in March. This new midsize SUV will deliver a combination of performance, capability and utility in a five-seat package optimized for big adventures and everyday use. The platform will underpin R2 and R3 product lines.

“Rivian’s commitment to pushing the industry forward with technologically advanced, highly innovative vehicles is something I’ve admired for a long time,” said Varela. “I’m looking forward to helping the company scale and continue to innovate as it rolls out R2 and its next generation of vehicles.”

SOURCE: Rivian

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