IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rivian Automotive, Inc. announced today Javier Varela will join as its Chief Operations Officer as the company focuses on optimizing operational efficiencies, including the production of R2, its midsized SUV. Varela joins Rivian from Volvo Cars, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Varela will start at Rivian in August and will report 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.”

About Rivian:

Rivian is an American automotive manufacturer that develops and builds category-defining electric vehicles and accessories. The company creates innovative and technologically advanced products that are designed to excel at work and play with the goal of accelerating the global transition to zero-emission transportation and energy. Rivian vehicles are built in the United States and are sold directly to consumer and commercial customers. The company provides a full suite of services that address the entire lifecycle of the vehicle and stay true to its mission to keep the world adventurous forever. Whether taking families on new adventures or electrifying fleets at scale, Rivian vehicles all share a common goal — preserving the natural world for generations to come. Learn more about the company, products, and careers at


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