TuSimples CEO sacked by company’s board over his Chinese affiliations

TuSimples CEO sacked by company’s board over his Chinese affiliations

According to the latest citations, Xiaodi Hou, the CEO of a leading developer of automotive driving systems for trucks, TuSimple has been fired by the companys board after a report of the CEO having unauthorized ties with a Chinese startup surfaced during securities filing on Monday, October 31, 2022.

The firing was initiated immediately after a report highlighting the simultaneous investigations led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), questioned the alleged relationship between the automotive company’s CEO and Chinese startup, Hydron, a hydrogen-powered trucking company, heralded by TuSimple Co-Founder Mo Chen.

While filing the securities, board members disclosed that according to the investigations conducted by the companys audit committee, employees spent their paid hours working on matters related to Hydron in 2021.

Allegedly, the work conducted for Hydron was worth USD 300,000 and was neither presented to nor approved by the audit committee. In addition, the panel members claimed that employees wholeheartedly disclosed confidential information to the Chinese company and its partners in an effort to integrate Hydron as a future original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner.

Projecting displeasure over the decision, former CEO and Chairman of TuSimple Xiaodi Hou claims that the board members have fired him without cause.

Further, he asserted that his decisions have always been in tandem with a visionary dream and that despite this, the board’s motivations, and processes behind firing him were contentious.

Notably, the CFIUS had initiated a probe on TuSimple in the past, with a primary goal of determining the purpose of an additional investment directed toward TuSimple, by Sun Dream, which is an arm of Sina Corporation, also known to run Chinas largest microblogging platform Sina Weibo.

It is worth mentioning that Sun Dream is TuSimple’s biggest shareholder, holding nearly 20% of its Class A shares. Interestingly, the CEO, and CFO of Sun Dream, Charles Chao, and Bonnie Yi Zhang respectively, chair reputed positions on the board of TuSimple.

Source Credits: - https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/31/tusimple-ceo-and-co-founder-fired-by-board-over-ties-to-chinese-startup-hydron/