Edward Hightower was named the CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp. on Tuesday, making him the primary Black CEO of a U.S. automaker in additional than 100 years.
“It’s something I’m proud of. I’m proud of my heritage, I’m proud of my race,” Hightower instructed Automotive News on Tuesday. “The thing that I spend the most time focusing on is how I deliver for my customers and how I deliver for the team. I think my background helps.”
Hightower was promoted to CEO after being president of the corporate. Lordstown Motors additionally introduced a number of different administration strikes.
Though different Black males have risen to excessive automotive government roles — equivalent to Ed Welburn, General Motors’ former vice chairman of world design, and Ralph Gilles, the chief design officer at Stellantis and a member of its prime government staff — Hightower has made historical past along with his new place.
Hightower, 57, hails from Chicago and earned a bachelor’s diploma on the whole engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Later, he held a number of engineering, technique, model advertising and marketing and senior government roles for GM, Ford and BMW.
Hightower stated his background has ready him for the function at Lordstown Motors.
“I’ve grown my career in the automotive industry because I’ve been passionate about it. My entire life, I was passionate about cars,” Hightower stated. “Growing up in Chicago, I was good in math and science. So I’m blessed to have the career I’ve had so far. I look forward to continuing it with this transition toward electrification and leading Lordstown.”
Longtime automotive communications government Randi Payton, CEO of Decisive Media, stated Hightower is extremely certified for the job.
“I give my hats off to Ed Hightower, because Ed has been doing something that very few executives have done, not only in the U.S., with a wide range of experience, but he’s also global,” Payton stated. “I think Ed is highly qualified to be the CEO of a major auto company.”