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Nikola CEO to leave by the end of 2022, President Lohscheller will replace

Written by Cláudio Afonso | | LinkedIn | Twitter

Nikola announced Wednesday that its CEO Mark Russell will retire by the end of 2022 naming the current Nikola Motor President Michael Lohscheller as his successor.

The company said Lohscheller, ex-CEO of Opel, will “assume Russell’s President title and join the Nikola Board of Directors effective immediately” and that Mark Russell will remain a member of the Board after his retirement.

Nikola enhanced “several notable achievements, including having a major impact in moving the Tre BEV into series production” and also “achieving development milestones for the Tre FCEV”.

“Michael Lohscheller’s selection represents the completion of a thoughtful succession planning process by the Board of Directors. With more than 20 years in the automotive industry, Michael has deep experience as a seasoned executive and as a highly knowledgeable business operator,” said Steve Girsky, Nikola’s Chairman of the Board. “In his six months since joining our company, Michael has continued to bring an increased sense of urgency, high level of accountability, improved lines of communication and accelerated decision-making to Nikola Motor. We believe that same standard of excellence and operational and commercial expertise will benefit the company’s vehicle and energy infrastructure vision.”

Girsky added, “Mark’s many contributions to Nikola have been drivers of the Company’s progress since 2019. Under Mark’s leadership, we have started series production on our BEVs, advanced FCEV pilot testing with select customers, expanded our strategic partner network, continued to build out our world-class Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facility and progressed our hydrogen infrastructure capabilities. On behalf of our Board and management team, we want to thank Mark for navigating Nikola through a critical chapter and playing a key role in positioning us for our next phase of growth.”

“Being part of Nikola has been the highlight of my career,” Russell said. “I could not be prouder of this team and everything we have accomplished and the milestones we have achieved so far. I am confident that under Michael’s leadership we will continue to show how to decarbonize heavy commercial transportation, and help the world create the energy ecosystem of the future.”

“I am honored and excited to succeed Mark as Nikola’s next CEO as we advance our journey as a pioneer in zero-emission transportation and infrastructure solutions,” said Lohscheller. “We have a robust business model, a talented global team, leading electric vehicle technology and energy solutions. We are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead of us and accelerate our strategic initiatives.”

Last week, the company announced its second quarter financial results reporting $18.1 million of revenue, an adjusted net loss per share of $0.25, and Cash & Restricted Cash of $529.2 million.

The company produced 50 Nikola Tre BEVs in Coolidge, Arizona, and delivered 48 to dealers announcing station progress in California in the cities of Ontario, Colton, and a location servicing the Port of Long Beach.

Earlier in the week, the company announced the acquisition of Romeo Power for $144 million in an all-stock transaction allowing a “significant operational improvement and cost reduction in battery pack production”.

The proposed exchange ratio implies a consideration of $0.74 per Romeo share and represents an approximately 34% premium to Romeo’s July 29, 2022 closing share price and values 100% of Romeo’s equity at approximately $144 million, Nikola said.

Written by Cláudio Afonso | | LinkedIn | Twitter