Unpaid Salaries, Spectacular Power Harassment…The Self-Inflicted Consequences of the “Air Breakdown” of the “Flying Bike” Development Company Used by Shinjo | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Unpaid Salaries, Spectacular Power Harassment…The Self-Inflicted Consequences of the “Air Breakdown” of the “Flying Bike” Development Company Used by Shinjo

Just one month after listing on NASDAQ, the CEO of the parent company resigned in a blitz: "Along with the motorcycle, the founder also flew! Former employees and shareholders angrily accuse the company.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
The XTURISMO demonstration flight was held in Detroit, USA, in September ’22. It ran beautifully in the air, but little technological progress has been made since then.

It was like something out of “Star Wars.

The “flying motorcycle,” which flies with a body reminiscent of a spaceship, has been widely covered by the media as a dream vehicle and attracted attention when it was used as the entrance performance for Tsuyoshi Shinjo, 51, manager of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, at the opening game of last year’s professional baseball season.

A.L.I. Technologies, the company that developed XTURISMO, the flying bike that carried manager Shinjo, succeeded in raising a total of more than 3 billion yen, an unprecedented amount for a start-up company. In February of this year, the company became the first Japanese company to be listed on NASDAQ by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

However, in just over six months, the founder of the company, who is not a motorcyclist, took off, all 140 employees were fired, and the company is said to be in danger of collapsing.

What on earth is going on?

The founder of the company, who has not been paid for three months since May, has been told he is being laid off. Many of the employees are still unable to find work and are suffering. Meanwhile, the person responsible for causing the crisis is gone too soon.”

Mr. A, a former employee of the company, is angry. The “person responsible” is Shuhei Komatsu, 40, the company’s founder and representative director, who served as the parent company’s CEO from October 2010.

Just prior to the listing in February, the company was short of legal fees and other expenses necessary for the listing, so it hurriedly raised $5 million in funds. After the listing, investors left one by one, fearing a decline in the stock price, and 99% of the funds raised through SPAC were withdrawn, leaving us in financial difficulties” (Mr. A, former employee).

Mr. A confides that the reason investors abandoned the company was the low level of completion of the “flying bike.

The tragedy began when we rushed into the sales plan with the listing of the company. When we held demonstrations in the UAE and other countries around the world, it did not fly, and the VIPs were furious, saying that they had been cheated. Even so, 250 million yen was being spent every month on labor, parts procurement, and other expenses. ……” (Mr. A)

Faced with a crisis of survival, Mr. Komatsu, the company’s founder, did not show leadership, and “one month after going public, he had already left the company,” according to Mr. A. “Mr. Komatsu had this unfinished business,” he said.

Mr. Komatsu was always pushing his employees to do unreasonable things, such as ‘sell this unfinished motorcycle to Mr. Yusaku Maezawa,’ and he was not afraid to call his employees even at 3 or 4 am. He was also calling his employees “idiots” and shouting at them, and some of them became mentally ill. Many of them left before the company went public, because they were so disgusted with Komatsu’s words and actions and their conscience was damaged by the sale of “bikes that don’t fly.

Mr. C, a shareholder of the company, is upset that “Mr. Komatsu has not fulfilled his management responsibility.

Mr. C, a shareholder of the company, said, “Mr. Komatsu is not fulfilling his managerial responsibility. The specs of ’80 km/h’ and ’40-minute flight’ were only theoretical values. Above all, he has never explained his management responsibility, even though he is the top manager of the company.

Why did Mr. Komatsu abandon the company only one month after listing? We asked Mr. Komatsu directly.

Mr. Komatsu did not give up the company, but was asked to resign by the current CEO and the board of directors. I explained this to the shareholders by e-mail.

I did get angry with the board members in a strong tone, but I did not use power over the employees on the bottom line. However, there was no evidence of power harassment against the employees at the end of the line, which is upsetting. In fact, I even consulted with employees who were fired by the new management team. If only the current CEO of the parent company had continued to raise funds properly in the first place, this situation would not have happened. As a result of the investigation by the third-party committee, it is becoming clear that the current CEO did not proceed with the negotiations he had planned.

One of the parent company’s management team says, “I can’t give you any details at this time, but we are working to rebuild the company.

Will the “flying bike” be able to take off after overcoming the management crisis?

Former employees respond to interviews with a saddened look on their faces. Of the 140 employees laid off, about 80 were full-time employees and the other 60 were outsourced.
LINE message sent by Mr. Komatsu to his employees. The words “less than human” catch the eye. The tone of the message was light, but the words and actions were often coercive.
Mr. Komatsu at an exhibition. He was wearing Louboutin shoes and a Dior suit. He usually prefers to wear Louis Vuitton products.

From the October 6, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shinji Hamasaki (accuser)

Photo Gallery4 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles