A dark cloud continues to loom over Chinese electric car company Nio. According to a statement last Thursday, co-founder Jack Cheng will be leaving the company.

Nio would not have survived its first five years without Cheng's influence. The executive holds ages of experience from Ford's Chinese division. With his guidance, Nio was able to launch its first EV model and become publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

But things have not been well for the brand as of late. Demand for their electric SUV has plummeted in China. Their newest SUV, the ES6, has only sold 1,000 units since it's launch in July. Poor sales forced the company to perform mass layoffs, close down their Silicon Valley office, and delay their electric sedan. Now, to add to that struggle, Cheng is leaving.

His departure isn't a "jumping from the sinking ship" scenario, at least not publicly. According to a company spokesperson in a statement to The Verge, Cheng is leaving the company in retirement, "due to age." While 61 seems like a young age to retire, we'd do the same if we could.

We'd like to imagine it was the Razer brand "gamer's SUV" that NIO unveiled recently that did it.