Canoo’s CEO’s Jet Costs Double What the Company Earned Last Year

In 2022, Canoo unveiled a prototype of its electric vehicle (EV) at the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas. However, despite the display, the company faced criticism for spending $1.7 million on CEO Tony Aquila’s private jet bills, which was twice the revenue it generated in 2023. Investors are concerned about such spending, especially when a company is struggling, as in Canoo’s case. The EV maker reported a loss of $302 million last year, reflecting the challenges it faces in an industry with slowing demand.

Canoo’s CEO received $1.7 million in “aircraft reimbursements” for his private jet expenses in 2022, while the company only had $886,000 in revenue. Aquila owns approximately 14% of Canoo and also received $1.3 million for air travel expenses in 2022. Despite producing passenger vehicles, delivery vans for Walmart and crew transport vehicles for NASA since its establishment in 2017, Canoo is struggling to generate profits and faces cash flow issues while trying to scale up production.

The lack of sufficient cash flow has forced Canoo to consider raising additional funds to sustain its operations. This challenge, coupled with several executive departures in 2022, has contributed to a 26% stock decline following the company’s earnings report. When businesses like Canoo overspend on private jet usage, shareholders and investors become concerned about the company’s financial health and management decisions.

Similar cases have faced backlash for their excessive spending practices. WeWork purchased a luxury jet and General Electric’s former CEO Jack Immelt’s extravagant travel accommodations have been criticized for their excessive spending practices.

In conclusion, while Canoo showcased its EV prototype at CES 2022, investors are worried about its financial health due to CEO Tony Aquila’s private jet expenses and lack of profitability despite generating revenue through various business ventures such as passenger vehicles and delivery vans for Walmart among others. The company needs to address these concerns by raising additional funds or finding ways to reduce costs if it hopes to sustain its operations and grow its business in an industry with slowing demand.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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