By on August 26, 2021

Lordstown Motors has entered into the phase where an EV startup has to tread water now that everyone knows it failed to disclose various production hurdles and shared inaccurate information about the pre-orders it has been bragging about. The only thing offsetting this bad situation is that our misgivings regarding Lordstown could probably be a little worse. Nikola and Faraday Future told some real whoppers, while the Ohio-based company appeared to have at least one toe dipped in the waters of truth. But we can’t exactly call lying a little less than the competition a major triumph.

It remains a bad situation, particularly because Lordstown lost CEO Steve Burns almost immediately after stating the company was “highly dependent” on his leadership in June. However, the firm said it had remedied the situation by appointing Daniel Ninivaggi as the new chief executive on Friday. 

According to the release, Ninivaggi has been approved by the board of directors and will be assuming the position (so to speak) right away. Considering the state the company is currently in, we don’t envy him — at least not until we remember he’s a highly paid corporate executive in an industry that no longer seems interested in accountability or hiring people that seem capable of doing their jobs.

From Lordstown Motors:

Ninivaggi is the former CEO of Icahn Enterprises L.P., a diversified holding company controlled by Carl C. Icahn, and has served in a variety of senior leadership positions in the automotive and transportation industries. He began his automotive career at Lear Corporation, ultimately serving as Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for, among other functions, corporate development and strategy. He later held the positions of Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Federal Mogul Holdings Corporation, an $8 billion supplier of powertrain, chassis, sealing, brake and other automotive components, prior to its sale to Tenneco.

While with Icahn Enterprises, Ninivaggi also oversaw Icahn Enterprises’ automotive aftermarket service network and parts distribution businesses. Ninivaggi has extensive experience as a director of public companies, including Icahn Enterprises, Motorola Mobility (prior to its sale to Google), Navistar International, Hertz Global Holdings and CVR Energy. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Garrett Motion Inc. (Nasdaq: GTX), a leading Tier 1 supplier of turbochargers and other propulsion products.

“I believe the demand for full-size electric pickup trucks will be strong and the Endurance truck, with its innovative wheel hub motor design, has the opportunity to capture a meaningful share of the market. With an absolute focus on execution, I look forward to working with the talented Lordstown management team, our suppliers and other partners to bring the Endurance [pickup] to market and maximize the value of our assets,” Ninivaggi stated.

Lordstown’s new CEO also has the predictable ivy league education. He’s a graduate of Stanford University School of Law, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and Columbia University. Does that garmented he’s going to be the chosen one to right the ship? Probably not. But it undoubtedly helped ensure he got the job.

The company ended the hiring announcement with a paragraph about how forward-looking statements aren’t indicative of much and that the qualifying terminology has been issued under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

“Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts,” reads the Lordstown release. “Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein due to many factors, including, but not limited to: our limited operating history and our significant projected funding needs; our liquidity position and the need to raise substantial additional funding to execute our business plan; risks associated with the conversion and retooling of our facility and ramp up of production; our inability to obtain binding purchase orders from customers and potential customers’ inability to integrate our electric vehicles into their existing fleets; our inability to retain key personnel and to hire additional personnel; competition in the electric pickup truck market; our inability to develop a sales distribution network; and the ability to protect our intellectual property rights.”

It sounds like everything is squared away and we can take it on faith (and only faith) that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.

[Image: Lordstown Motors]

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14 Comments on “Lordstown Motors Appoints New CEO...”

  • avatar

    Hope he collected his annual salary in advance.

  • avatar

    stonk is popping because some people actually believe it was an Icahn “buyout”, as opposed to some guy who worked there and just wants an easy paycheck for a few months.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That seems like a pretty stock disclaimer statement, which investors in any company ignore at their peril.

    As for the new CEO – he has degrees in BS. Many companies have tanked with pedigreed managers at the helm.

    What Lordstown needs more than anything is a few pre-production trucks for the press to look over during a plant tour. And a better grille.

  • avatar

    Icahn’s involvement is not a good sign. How about Lordstown taking over Ford or even better Rivian. Hell why not Tesla. No Tesla is too expensive. Bankrupt Xerox under Icahn leadership wanted to overtake HP in hostile manner not that long ago in 2020.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Go stand on the dock. Count the rats leaving the ship.

  • avatar

    Nothing says financialized dystopia like triumphantly handing some grand sounding title to a rank yahoo who’s been collecting Fed welfare and nothing but, when you don’t posses enough competence to put together even an overgrown RC car….

    But hey, as long as the Fed can be relied on to reliably rob those less useless for your benefit, why not? It’s not called the DembAge for nothing…

  • avatar

    The original 1.6L engine put out 68hp, although like all Honda engines of the time it seemed like more because of the great torque curve and sound. I think it was the Road & Track review that called the ’76 hatch the greatest bargain in automotive history, at an MSRP of $3995. Compare it to the VW Scirrocco of the time. Honda did a great job of stealing the thunder from the Germans in the early days.

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