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Nikola taps former Volkswagen executive for CEO role in 2023

Credit: Nikola Corp.

Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) has announced it will name Michael Lohscheller as company CEO, effective January 1, 2023. Current CEO Mark Russell will retire at the end of the year and named Lohscheller his successor.

Lohscheller will assume Russell’s position and assume a position on the company’s Board of Directors on January 1. Additionally, while Russell will retire from the CEO position, he will remain a member of the Board, Nikola confirmed.

Lohscheller has worked at Nikola since February 2022 in the role of President. Previously, Loscheller worked at Vinfast as the company’s global CEO, Adam Opel AG as CEO and CFO, and helped spearhead the company’s efforts to become an all-electric car brand. He also was employed by Volkswagen Group of America for just under five years as the company’s CFO, according to his LinkedIn.

Michael Lohscheller Nikola CEO

Credit: Nikola Motor

“Michael Lohscheller’s selection represents the completion of a thoughtful succession planning process by the Board of Directors,” Steve Girsky, Company Chairman of the Board, said. “With more than 20 years in the automotive industry, Michael has deep experience as a seasoned executive and as a highly knowledgeable business operator. 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.”

Meanwhile, Russell, who has only been CEO of Nikola since the departure of company founder Trevor Milton, said that being a part of the company has been “the highlight of my career.”

“I could not be prouder of this team and everything we have accomplished and the milestones we have achieved so far,” Russell said. “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.”

Nikola has continued its dramatic turnaround following a tumultuous two years that ended in the departure of Milton, who is currently facing several fraud charges related to falsifying statements reflecting the company’s progress. Since then, Nikola has started production and deliveries of the Tre BEV, which is a Class 8 vehicle. Additionally, the company has announced plans to produce its own battery packs, solidifying those plans with the acquisition of Romeo Power last week.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is not a NKLA Shareholder.

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Nikola taps former Volkswagen executive for CEO role in 2023
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