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Nikola CEO Steps Down Amid Management Shuffle

Chairman Girsky takes over as beleaguered electric truckmaker reports Q2 earnings
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Beleaguered electric truckmaker Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA) on Friday said that President and CEO Michael Lohscheller would be immediately stepping down from his roles, making way for Chairman Stephen Girsky to take the reins. The sudden management shuffle comes on the same day the company is expected to report second-quarter earnings.

In this photo illustration the Nikola Motor Company logo is displayed on a smartphone. (RAFAEL HENRIQUE/GETTY IMAGES) 

Lohscheller’s departure was attributed to a family health matter, leading to his return to Europe. Despite relinquishing his executive roles, Lohscheller will remain in an advisory capacity at Nikola until the end of September, facilitating a seamless leadership transition.

“I feel privileged and honored to have served as Nikola’s CEO and to have worked with so many inspiring colleagues who are relentlessly focused on advancing Nikola’s position as a leader in zero-emissions transportation. I am incredibly confident in Nikola’s future,” said Lohscheller.

Lohscheller was the appointed as CEO in February 2022.

Girsky will continue serving on the Board of Directors, while Steve Shindler, a director since October 2020, assumes the role of Chairman of the Board.

The transition announcement coincides with the release of the company’s second-quarter financial results, scheduled for later on Friday. 

Girsky was previously the vice chairman for General Motors as he was one of the executives that help Nikola go public. He will be the fourth CEO for Nikola in its 9-year history.

Lohscheller’s tenure at Nikola has been marked by significant accomplishments, including driving sales momentum for the battery-electric truck and refining the company’s strategic direction.

This development follows Thursday’s shareholder approval, enabling Nikola to increase its authorized shares of common stock — a move aimed at securing crucial capital for the company’s growth.

Nikola has been navigating financial challenges, prompting cost-cutting measures and strategic adjustments. 

In this photo illustration the Nikola Motor Company logo is displayed on a smartphone. (RAFAEL HENRIQUE/GETTY IMAGES) 

Trevor Milton, the company’s founder and former chairman and CEO, contested the proposal via social media, as reported by CNBC. His opposition mirrored his previous attempt to thwart a similar share-increase proposal in 2022, which ultimately succeeded after several delays.

Milton resigned from Nikola in 2020 amid allegations of fraud raised by a Wall Street short-seller, and he later faced fraud convictions for misleading investors about Nikola’s technology.

“The company does not need new shares, they need new leadership,” founder, Trevor Milton, said in a LinkedIn post in June.

Nikola’s second-quarter financial results are expected to be disclosed later on Friday, with estimates indicating a loss of 22 cents per share and revenue of $15.43 million.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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