Rivian Accused of 'Boys Club' Culture by Ex-Exec

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Start-up EV automaker Rivian has been accused by a former employee of having a “boys club” atmosphere while she worked there.

Laura Schwab, who was in charge of sales and marketing, claims the company has a “toxic bro culture” that led to mistakes being made, and when she pointed it out, she was fired.

Schwab, who was once the first female president in Aston Martin’s history and has over 20 years of industry experience, said she and other women were left out of key meetings that they should’ve been part of and says her boss virtually ignored her, going months without a one-on-one meeting.

The whole thing can be read on her Medium page.

Schwab has apparently filed suit in Orange County, California, as well as filing a claim with the American Arbitration Association.

We’ve reached out to Rivian for comment and will update when they respond. We might not hear back, though — Rivian told TechCrunch that it can’t comment during the quiet period ahead of its IPO.

[Image: Rivian]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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5 of 51 comments
  • Slavuta Slavuta on Nov 08, 2021

    Meanwhile in the real car news.. Bremach in LA auto show lineup this month

  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Nov 08, 2021

    Oh no, not a "toxic bro culture". Whatever that is. I always find it interesting how women call interactions between men or anything associated with men as "toxic". Of course the whole overuse of the abbreviation "bro" is getting ridiculous but I digress (don't get me started on the extremely stupid "bruh"). Her use of the word "toxic" immediately makes me question her credibility.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 08, 2021

    Someone should investigate how that bizarre-looking front end got approved. It always reminds me of Annie, in the old "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip. https://www.nydailynews.com/resizer/fL_qrgr3pQm5oH1sJcNGLZa5_SI=/1200x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/JFYOJKS5SCYSIKLOT42WRM3KMI.jpg

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 08, 2021

    I've found that it's foolish to make buying decisions based on a "company culture" unless the culture is outright fraudulent or illegal. To boil it down, when you do make decisions based on that, the people that suffer aren't the decision makers - it's the folks at the bottom of the ladder making $15 an hour. If this is a real problem at the company, we'll know soon enough.