Nikola Corporation has stated that its Board of Directors is rejecting five director nominees that were proposed by an entity controlled by former CEO Trevor Milton. An election for the company’s directors is expected to be held at Nikola’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
As noted by Nikola in a press release, the company received a notice on January 26 from M&M Residual, LLC, which is connected to the former CEO. The notice proposed the nomination of five directors for the company’s eight-member board. Milton’s nominees are Cole Cannon, Derek Johnson, Hans Peterson, Paul Southam, and Dave Sparks.
After a review of Milton’s nominees, Nikola noted that it is rejecting the former CEO’s proposal. The company cited several reasons behind its rejection, such as the nominees’ lack of experience in a public company and lack of skills or experience.
“The Board of Directors reviewed the director nominees and rejected the slate and does not endorse their nomination. The director nominees have no public company experience, add no skills or experience to the board, and indisputably lack the depth of experience that the current Nikola board members bring to the Company. Additionally, it is the Company’s belief that the director nominees lack the expertise or knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of a zero-emissions trucking and energy infrastructure business,” Nikola noted in its press release.
Apart from expressing its rejection of the former CEO’s nominees, Nikola also highlighted that Milton continues to cause damage to the company until today. The company also mentioned that on October 20, 2023, Milton was found liable in an arbitration with the company, “resulting in an award to the Company of $165 million plus interest, which includes a $125 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission from December 2021.” This judgment remains unpaid to date.
“Mr. Milton is separated from the Company entirely and has had zero involvement in Nikola’s day-to-day operations since September of 2020; however, Nikola continues to suffer harm created by Mr. Milton’s business decisions from over three years ago in his role as Founder and Executive Chairman,” Nikola wrote in its press release.
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