According to TASS, citing a Financial Times publication, the electric car startup Arrival, founded by billionaire Denis Sverdlov, a former deputy head of the Ministry of Communications, has ceased operations in Russia. Arrival had a division that was engaged in software development. It is reported that the Russian office has already been disbanded, and most of the employees left for Georgia. Their relocation had been underway since mid-February and they had already opened an office in Tbilisi.
Executive Vice President Tom Elvidge told the Financial Times that Arrival began transferring its Russian employees overseas after the Russian military operation in Ukraine began and has no plans to “conduct any activities in Russia in the future.”
Asked whether the company fears Western sanctions due to the fact that its founder and head worked for the Russian government until 2013, Elvidge said that both Arrival itself and Sverdlov personally “are opposed to what’s going on and any conflicts of any kind.”
Arrival is developing electric vans, cabs and buses and is currently building microfactories in the United States and the United Kingdom, where, according to Elvidge, production should begin in the coming months. The company was valued at $13.8 billion when it listed on the Nasdaq last March, but its stock has since lost 40 percent of its value.
Last year, Sverdlov was ranked No. 26 in The Sunday Times’ ranking of Britain’s richest businessmen. Forbes magazine estimated Sverdlov’s fortune at $3 billion in 2021, but reported in late January of this year that it had fallen to $1.4 billion due to a drop in Arrival stock.