As the old saying goes, where there's smoke, there's fire. And at Faraday Future, things are looking smoky. Following reports from earlier today that the elusive, Chinese-backed EV maker could be bankrupt by February, two of the company's top execs have abandoned ship.

Citing anonymous sources, The Verge reports that former Scuderia Ferrari team boss Marco Mattiacci and former Volkswagen exec Joerg Sommer have left the increasingly troubled EV startup after seven and three months, respectively. Mattiacci came on as chief brand and commercial officer in June, and according to employees at the company, tried to straighten out its numerous financial missteps. Sommer spent his short tenure at Faraday as vice president for product marketing and growth.

The Verge's sources speculate that Mattiacci and Sommer's departure could be a move by Faraday itself, and not by the men in question. The source suggests ditching the well-paid execs could put the company in a better financial position when its first production model debuts at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

But ditching your chief branding officer and your head of product marketing to increase funds ahead of a new vehicle launch is more likely a sign of deep trouble at the company. Mattiacci and Sommer's roles aren't necessarily important to developing Faraday's first production model, but they certainly are after it launches. The fact that they won't be there to do that is the biggest plume of smoke from Faraday yet.

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