Lordstown Motors shuffled the highest of its government ranks, together with naming longtime auto government Edward Hightower the corporate’s CEO. Hightower, who loved tenures with General Motors and Ford, turns into the primary Black CEO of a contemporary U.S. automaker with the promotion.
The transfer to raise Hightower from simply the corporate’s president — he’s additionally a member of the Lordstown board of administrators — is only one of a number of adjustment the long-struggling EV maker made amongst its senior officers.
The firm’s earlier CEO, Daniel Ninivaggi, is now government chairman of the board, and he plans ot deal with company technique, partnerships and capital elevating. Hightower, along with his new duties, stays CEO of MIH EV Design LLC, LMC’s product growth three way partnership with Foxconn.
The strikes are designed, partially, to make sure the corporate stays on monitor to provide Lordstown’s first car, the Endurance by the tip of the yr.
A brand new chief
“We now have a focused leadership team with vast experience in developing, launching and commercializing vehicles,” stated Hightower in a press release. “I’ve simply returned from two weeks in Taiwan assembly with Foxconn and exploring our joint product growth alternatives.
“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.”
Hightower’s transfer into the CEO’s position is a noteworthy occasion, though he’s technically not the primary Black CEO of an automaker. That honor belongs to C.R. Patterson, who fashioned C.R. Patterson & Sons, which constructed its first automotive in 1914. Working along with his son, Frederick, the corporate produced the Patterson-Greenfield Automobile till 1918, when it started producing buses. The firm lasted till 1939 and remains to be the one Black-owned automaker in U.S. historical past.
A shift within the tasks and titles between Ninivaggi and Hightower weren’t the one strikes introduced. Other modifications embody:
- Donna Bell, a former Ford Motor Co. government with virtually 30 years of automotive product growth and expertise innovation management expertise, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Product Creation, Engineering and Supply Chain, efficient instantly.
- Andrew Reyntjes, a 30-year veteran of the automotive and industrial fleet business, was appointed Senior Vice President, Sales, Service and Marketing, efficient June 29.
- Jill Coniglio-Kirk was appointed Vice President of People & Culture, efficient June 20. She has greater than 20 years of expertise in automotive human assets roles and constructing out early-stage organizations.
- Jane Ritson-Parsons will likely be transitioning out of the position of Chief Commercial Officer and turn out to be an advisor to the corporate.
Ninivaggi confused having the correct folks in the correct locations, is important the success of the corporate within the close to time period in addition to sooner or later.
“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,” he stated in a press release.
“As the Endurance will get nearer to manufacturing and we choose companions for our first three way partnership car, our industrial technique may even be important. Andrew will speed up the event of our industrial fleet partnerships.
“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.”
Still trying to find the correct folks
Ninivaggi’s deal with discovering the correct of us for the job has been a part of the issue for the nascent EV maker for a lot of the final 12 months. The former Icahn Enterprises CEO himself has been with the corporate lower than a yr.
In June 2021, the corporate’s founder and CEO Steve Burns, in addition to then-CFO Julio Rodriguez, resigned from the corporate. They left days after the Ohio-based firm warned there was “substantial doubt” it could come up with the money for to stay in enterprise for the subsequent yr. The firm additionally faces an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into claims that it misled buyers.Prior to that, short-seller group, Hindenburg Research launched a report questioning Lordstown’s optimistic gross sales projections. According to Hindenburg, the “fake” orders have been used to assist Lordstown elevate capital. It has since come out that the majority, if not all, of the automaker’s gross sales claims are questionable.