Credit: Unknown

Lordstown Motors names Edward Hightower as the new CEO plus five other executives

Written by Cláudio Afonso | | LinkedIn | Twitter

Lordstown Motors named on Tuesday six key executive appointments including the company’s president Edward T. Hightower with the additional role of CEO, effective immediately. Edward was named Lordstown’ President in November 2021 and has 30 years of experience serving in product development, engineering, manufacturing, commercial, and senior executive roles between Ford, BMW, and GM.

Lordstown added that Edward will also continue to serve as CEO of MIH EV Design LLC, LMC’s product development joint venture with Foxconn. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors of Lordstown Motors.

In addition, the company said named Daniel A. Ninivaggi was elected to serve as Executive Chairman of the Board to focus on corporate strategy, strategic partnerships and capital raising, and also Dr. Donna Bell as Executive VP, Product Creation, Engineering, and Supply Chain.

Bell is a former Ford Motor Company executive with almost 30 years of automotive product development and technology innovation leadership experience, has been appointed , effective immediately.

Lordstown named Andrew Reyntjes as a Senior Vice President, Sales, Service, and Marketing and also Jill Coniglio-Kirk as Vice President of People & Culture. Jane Ritson-Parsons will be transitioning out of the role of Chief Commercial Officer and become an advisor to the company, Lordstown said.

“Since joining Lordstown Motors, recruiting an experienced and talented management team has been a key priority.  With the recent closing of the Foxconn transactions and the launch of our new Foxconn joint venture, Lordstown Motors has shifted to a more engineering and product development focused OEM.  With over 30 years of automotive experience and having made significant contributions to the Endurance launch preparation and Foxconn transactions, Edward is the perfect person to lead the company and launch our product development efforts with Foxconn.  As Executive Chairman, I will continue to focus on strategic and financial matters, working closely with Edward and CFO Adam Kroll,” said Daniel Ninivaggi, LMC’s Executive Chairman. “As the Endurance gets closer to production and we select partners for our first joint venture vehicle, our commercial strategy will also be critical.  Andrew will accelerate the development of our commercial fleet partnerships,” Ninivaggi continued.  “Finally, we are in an industry with emerging technologies and the need for constant innovation.  Jill will be a key member of our senior management team, with a particular focus on recruiting and developing the best EV engineering talent.”

“We now have a focused leadership team with vast experience in developing, launching and commercializing vehicles,” said Hightower.  “I’ve just returned from two weeks in Taiwan meeting with Foxconn and exploring our joint product development opportunities.  I look forward to strengthening our partnership and confirming our first vehicle program over the next several months.  The LMC team also remains laser focused on launching the Endurance this quarter, with commercial deliveries expected in the fourth quarter.”

Dr. Donna Bell comes to Lordstown as Executive Vice President, Product Creation, Engineering and Supply Chain with almost 30 years of hands-on leadership experience in engineering, product development, purchasing, quality, mobility and autonomous vehicle strategy, and research. Her work in the development of electronic modules and infotainment systems led to her receiving multiple patents. Bell also served as research operations director at Ford’s Palo Alto Innovation Labs. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University’s School of Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lawrence Technological University.

“The excitement of a startup appeals to me,” said Bell. “Lordstown, and its partner, Foxconn, have the potential to reinvent how vehicles are developed and manufactured.  It is the ultimate challenge.”

“Along with our intense focus on the Endurance launch, we are actively working to plan and develop additional vehicles and mobility solutions for our commercial fleet customers. Dr. Bell’s extensive experience in the high-quality execution of vehicle programs, technologies, and innovations will make her an excellent addition to our team. As EV performance attributes and features are becoming more defined and driven by software, Donna’s leadership and track record will build on the strengths of the Lordstown Motors team and play a key role driving the success of the joint venture,” said Hightower.

Andrew Reyntjes joins Lordstown Motors as Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales, Service and Marketing.  He is experienced in US and international markets and multiple industries outside automotive.  He most recently worked in sales leadership positions at LEER Group, a business unit of J.B Poindexter & Co., a leading provider of vans, truck bodies, vehicle storage systems and accessories to the commercial vehicle market. Prior to his position as director of fleet and commercial sales at LEER Group, he spent more than 15 years in various roles within the fleet industry including WABCO and at General Motors in Fleet & Commercial Operations as well as numerous other positions and functions. 

“Lordstown Motors is focused on meeting the needs of our commercial fleet customers.  Andrew has lived and breathed the commercial fleet market from every aspect. His leadership and enthusiasm will help to ensure that our vehicles and solutions deliver on the work-focused needs and expectations of our customers and create value for the company,” said Edward Hightower.

A seasoned human resource professional with two decades of HR leadership experience at global Tier 1 automotive suppliers, Jill Coniglio-Kirk recently joined LMC as Vice President of People & Culture.  Jill has a proven track record of developing cultures that reward, promote, and drive high performance.  Prior to joining Lordstown, she was Vice President of Human Resources for Veoneer, Inc., a world leader in automotive safety.  Previously, Jill served in a variety of management positions at Autoliv, Inc.

Jane Ritson-Parsons joined Lordstown more than a year ago and greatly contributed to the transition to the new leadership team, the development of our commercial strategy and the execution of the Foxconn transactions.  She will be transitioning out of her formal role as Chief Commercial Officer and become an advisor to LMC.  Daniel Ninivaggi commented, “Jane’s leadership in several of our functions was instrumental to the progress we have made over the past year.  I thank her for her many contributions to the company and look forward to her support as an advisor.”

Recently, the company announced that it has closed the sale of its Lordstown facility and signed a contract manufacturing agreement and joint venture agreement for product development with affiliates of Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn). The start of commercial production of the Endurance is targeted for the third quarter of this year, with the first commercial deliveries expected in the fourth quarter.

Written by Cláudio Afonso | | LinkedIn | Twitter