Co-founder Alex Rodrigues’ email to Embark employees

Earlier today, Embark CEO Alex Rodrigues sent this email to all Embark employees

Embark Trucks
Published in
3 min readMar 3, 2023


Embark Team,

I am writing to you today with a heavy heart. The last 9 months have been tough for the autonomous trucking industry, and for Embark — the capital markets have turned their backs on pre-revenue companies, just as slipping manufacturer timelines have delayed the prospect of scaled commercial deployment. Across Embark, we have been working very hard to find a path forward in the face of these challenges, including:

  • Refining our existing plan
  • Exploring alternative markets
  • Attempting to find a buyer for the company

Unfortunately, after thoroughly evaluating all alternatives, we have been unable to identify a path forward for the business in its current form. Although there are many external things that we wish had gone differently, ultimately this outcome is my responsibility. In challenging times, it is the whole company’s job to be flexible and optimistic in pursuing a sometimes-changing direction — and it is the job of the CEO to navigate the challenges and make sure those directions ultimately get the team to the other side. You held up your end of that bargain, I was not able to hold up mine — for that I am profoundly sorry.

Today, having exhausted all alternatives, we are taking the incredibly difficult step of laying off ~70% of the company, and shutting down our SoCal and Houston offices. A majority of employees will receive an email in the next 30 minutes that your role has been impacted, which will include detailed instructions on severance and next steps.

The remaining 30% of Embark will be undertaking two efforts in parallel:

  1. Orderly wind-down:
  • Focus on respectfully supporting our colleagues who have been let go and helping them land on their feet
  • Begin winding down our day-to-day operations

2. Over the next handful of weeks, we will work closely with the Embark Board of Directors to evaluate our options, including selling assets, restructuring the company or shutting down completely

To those departing -

I’m sorry that myself and Brandon weren’t able to find a way. You are an amazing team and it has been the highlight of my life to get to work with all of you. This is not a reflection on you, but rather the nature of attempting something that has never been done before is that it is risky and even with incredible amounts of hard work, creativity and passion (which this team certainly has in spades!) success is not guaranteed.

If your role is impacted today, provided that you sign your separation agreement, you will receive:

  • Severance — Base salary through June 2, 2023, or equivalent lump-sum payment
  • Benefits — Embark will cover the cost of keeping your current company-sponsored medical, dental, and vision benefits through August 31, 2023
  • Equity — If you are part-way through a month of RSU vesting, your vesting will be accelerated to the next upcoming vesting date following today. Likewise, if you were promised a 2022 refresh grant as part of the 2022 comp cycle then, subject to board approval, that grant will be made and vested up to the next upcoming vesting date following today
  • Laptop — You can keep your company-provided laptop for personal use, as long as you coordinate with our IT team to wipe it in the next week.
  • Career support — Embark is establishing an internal Placement Team for the next 6 weeks to help connect departing employees with new opportunities.
  • Immigration support — Embark has worked with our external immigration attorneys to provide immigration support for those on visas and will pay the cost of up to 2 consultation sessions for any employee currently working at Embark on a visa.

I believe that solving autonomous trucking will one day be a huge benefit to society, and while Embark may not be there to see the vision through in its current form, I hope you know that your work made a difference in pushing the industry forward. As a leader, founder, coworker, and friend, this is a day I never hoped to see, but I want to say thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart for being on this journey with me.