Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) announced earlier today that it had relieved CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez from their duties while appointing Becky Roof to Interim CFO and Angela Strand to Executive Chairwoman. The announcement comes just a week after Lordstown announced that it was struggling financially, with estimates that there wasn’t enough cash to last another 12 months.
News of the changes in Lordstown’s management caused shares to slide over 17%.
“Lordstown Motors Corp. a leader in electric light-duty trucks focused on the commercial fleet market, today announced several changes to its executive management team as the Company begins to transition from the R&D and early production phase to the commercial production phase of its business,” the automaker said in a statement today. “To that end, Lordstown Motors Lead Independent Director Angela Strand has been appointed Executive Chairwoman of the Company, and will oversee the organization’s transition until a permanent CEO is identified, and Becky Roof, will serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer. Steve Burns has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and from the Company’s Board of Directors, and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez has also resigned. All changes are effective immediately and the Company has engaged an executive search firm to identify a permanent CEO and CFO.”
Last week, Lordstown revealed it was struggling with cash flow, and the company cited that there was “substantial doubt” that it would be able to continue operating over the course of the next twelve months.
Companies often struggle financially early on, especially automakers, unless they have significant financial backing. Tesla experienced significant financial struggles in its early days, and Elon Musk has told the story of splitting the rest of his money between the automaker and SpaceX, so both companies would have a chance. Tesla was on the verge of closing its doors before investors called and offered to throw more money in. Four years later, Tesla would release the Model S after significant engineering efforts, and it eventually became the catalyst to Tesla’s momentum in the sector.
Lordstown said in the press release that it remains committed to “delivering on our production and commercialization objectives, holding ourselves to the highest standards of operation and performance and creating value for shareholders,” new Executive Chairwoman Angela Strand said.
The company is also planning to host “Lordstown Week” from June 21st to the 25th, an event that will host investors, partners, customers, and analysts, to show firsthand how the production teams plan to prepare the Ohio-located plant for the beginning of production of the Endurance electric pickup truck. The Endurance is scheduled to begin mass production in September.
At the time of writing, Lordstown stock was trading at $9.40, down 17.57%.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is not a Lordstown Motors shareholder. He does hold TSLA Stock.