Rift over funding prompted resignation of Fisker founder : sources

DETROIT, Tue Mar 19, 2013 — The abrupt resignation of Fisker Automotive’s founder Henrik Fisker was prompted by disagreements with the company’s CEO over funding and operational strategy, two people familiar with the matter said.

Friction between Fisker and CEO Tony Posawatz came to a head as the cash-strapped “green car” start-up stepped up efforts to find a financial backer to buy a stake and help build its second model, the Atlantic plug-in hybrid, the sources said.

Fisker left last week at a sensitive time for the company, which has been in strategic talks with China’s Geely, the owner of Sweden’s Volvo, and state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Geely has since bowed out of bidding process, sources have said, though they added the decision was not related to Fisker’s resignation.

While both executives agreed that the company needed a strategic partner after the rocky, delayed introduction of the $100,000 plus Karma plug-in hybrid, they were at odds over whether to rely on federal funds and the extent of the financing needed.