The news coming out of the Santa Cruz area today is that there’s been a management shake-up at Zero Motorcycles, as multiple people at the top of the company’s leadership have been given pink slips, including company Founder & CTO Neal Saiki. Recently talking to PlugBike.com‘s John Adamo, Zero Motorcycles CEO Gene Banman denied that Saiki had been let go from the company, saying that Saiki’s absence at the company was due to his child’s recent birth and Saiki’s desire to spend time with his newborn.

However multiple sources close to the company have confirmed to Asphalt & Rubber that Neal Saiki was a part of a larger management shake-up that was precipitated by the company’s lead investor. With many of the terminations expected to be finalized next month, and spanning more than one division at the California-based startup, there appears to be a considerable personnel and culture shift occurring at Zero at this point in time.

Zero Motorcycles’ 2011 product line appears to be an extension of this shift at the Scotts Valley company, with the 2011 bikes receiving upgraded components, new designs, and stronger chassis designs. These product design changes go counter to Saiki’s controversial bicycle-inspired designs that focused on bringing strong but light components to electric motorcycles.

The electric news lately has been dominated by Zero, as the company just finished raising another $2 million in funding, announced expansion of its production facilities, and signed a deal with Mexican distributor Dofesa Aventura.

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