• Sat. Aug 20th, 2022

Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden steps down as president

ByASNF

Jun 30, 2022

Shared micromobility company Bird’s board of directors has appointed Shane Torchiana as president of the company, replacing the company’s CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden. The new roles will begin effective June 29, per a regulatory filing.

VanderZanden, who previously served as the chief operating officer (COO) at ride-hailing company Lyft, will stay on as CEO of Bird and chair of the board of directors.

The departure of VanderZanden and the election of Torchiana comes a few days after Bird received a warning from the New York Stock Exchange for its too-low stock price. Bird’s shares fell 6.05% to close at $0.43, which according to the exchange’s requirements for Class A Common Stocks, is far below the $1.00 minimum over the course of a consecutive 30-day trading period.. The announcement, which was delivered after the market closed, briefly pushed share price one cent lower before recovered to $0.43.

Bird’s stock has plummeted from $6.18 at the start of the year, due to market conditions and issues within a company that has struggled to turn a profit since going public last year. Bird recently laid off 23% of its staff.

Until recently, Torchiana served as Bird’s COO from January. Before that, he worked in various roles, most recently as SVP of corporate development and strategy from January 2019 to January 2022. Torchiana comes from a consulting background with Boston Consulting Group where he worked for eight years leading client engagements in data and analytics, strategy and transformation efforts, according to Bird’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bird has not yet responded to requests for comment.

The Santa Monica-based e-scooter and e-bike sharing company is one of two micromobility companies to debut on the public markets, alongside Helbiz, both of which came to fruition via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC). Like many SPACs in the electric vehicle space, neither company is doing too hot. Bird debuted on the NYSE on November 5 via a merger Switchback II. The company initially traded at $8.34 per share, with an expected valuation of around $2.3 billion.

Since then, Bird’s stock has steadily declined as the company has faced headwinds in the form of increased Omicron cases, poor weather and significant operating costs that have continuously valued the company’s revenue lower than its losses. When Bird reported first quarter earnings, the company said it would drop its burgeoning vehicle sales business in favor of focusing on its core business, shared rides.

This article has been updated with more context about Bird’s SPAC merger.

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