Nikola Founder Steps Down

Sept. 22, 2020

Editor's note: This article has been updated.

Trevor Milton, founder and executive chairman of the board of Nikola Corp., has stepped down and left the board of directors. Board member Stephen Girsky, former vice chairman of General Motors, has been appointed chairman, effective immediately.

“Nikola is truly in my blood and always will be, and the focus should be on the company and its world-changing mission, not me,” said Milton in a prepared statement. “So I made the difficult decision to approach the board and volunteer to step aside as executive chairman. Founding Nikola and growing it into a company that will change transportation for the better and help protect our world’s climate has been an incredible honor.”

Nikola has been accused of fraud by Hindenburg Research, shortly after inking a deal with GM for production of its Badger pickup trucks.

Nikola also has a joint venture with CNH Industrial for the production of heavy trucks.

The Wall Street Journal (link requires registration) reports that Nikola's CFO to an investor conference, "Nothing has changed." 

“As we move forward, I am confident Steve is the right leader to guide our vision at the board level,” Milton said. “In addition to being an early believer and supporter of Nikola, Steve has more than 30 years of experience working with OEM leaders, suppliers, dealers, labor leaders and national policy makers, and has served as a director of numerous public companies.”

Nikola CEO Mark Russell, in a prepared statement, said:

“We remain committed to delivering on our objectives and creating value for our shareholders. Along with the rest of the management team, I will continue to work closely with Steve and the Board to advance Nikola’s vision for the future. Our priorities remain unchanged and, in collaboration with our partners, we are laser-focused on executing on our strategic initiatives and laying the groundwork to become a vertically integrated zero-emissions transportation solutions provider.”

Source: Nikola Corp.