Nikola’s CEO, Mark Russell, is leaving the company and will be replaced by an insider, Michael Lohscheller.
Russell will leave by Jan 1st but remain on the board, according to a statement released by Nikola. His replacement, Lohscheller, joined Nikola this year and has been serving as president. He will be appointed to the board immediately after he takes over in January.
The news of the change in guard caused Nikola’s share to jump 2.3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, after a 29 percent slump this year.
Nikola is trying to bolster confidence in its management and fix supply chain issues as it attempts to manufacture its BEV semi truck. The last few years have been chaotic for the company, with founder and former CEO Trevor Milton indicted for misleading investors. He was recently battling in court to suppress evidence of his lavish lifestyle.
Russell took charge of the company in June 2020 after it went public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). He had the job of simplifying Nikola’s ambitions and repairing the damage caused by Milton’s scandal.
Nikola has not given a reason for Russell’s departure.
Lohcheller is a veteran of the automotive industry with more than 20 years of experience. He was CFO at Mitsubishi Motors Europe and Volkswagen’s US operations and also worked at General Motors.