Human Capital & Careers

Lordstown Motors Overhauls Management; CEO, CFO to Step Down

The C-suite shakeup comes a week after the electric vehicle pickup truck maker issued a "going concern" warning.

Lordstown Motors, which sounded out a “going concern” warning last week, announced a C-suite shakeup Monday. 

What Happened: Lordstown announced a slew of management changes, including the exit of CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez.

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The changes are effective immediately, the company said.

Lordstown said Angela Strand, the lead independent director of the company’s board, will take over as executive chair of the company and will oversee the transition until a permanent CEO replacement is found.

The company also named Becky Roof as interim CFO.

The changes are being made as Lordstown begins to transition from the R&D and early production phase to the commercial production phase of its business, David Hamamoto, chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee, said in a statement. 

Limited production is expected to begin in late September, he said. 

“We have to put in place a seasoned management team with deep experience leading and operating publicly-listed OEM companies.”

Lordstown also announced the strengthening of the executive team. The company said Rich Schmidt, president of Lordstown Motors, will continue to oversee all day-to-day operations, including manufacturing and engineering.

Jane Ritson-Parsons, formerly Lordstown Motors interim chief brand officer, has been appointed chief operating officer, and Carter Driscoll, formerly head of investor relations, has been promoted to VP, corporate development, capital markets, and investor relations. 

Why It’s Important: Lordstown said in an amended 10K filing with the SEC last week that it needs to obtain additional funding to ramp up production for the Endurance pickup truck.

“Our current budget only provides for a limited commencement of production in 2021,” the filing read.

Additional funding must be secured for production in 2022 and beyond, Lordstown said. 

The company plans to commence commercial production of its Endurance pickup truck in September and start initial sales in late 2021. Beta and pre-production vehicles were planned to be built in the first half of 2021.

Competition in the EV pickup truck space is heating up, with the likes of Tesla and Ford Motor Company in the fray. These companies have deep pockets and the wherewithal to raise finances to see through the commercialization of EV trucks.

Lordstown went public through a SPAC deal by combining with the shell company Diamond Peak Holdings in late 2020.

Given the liquidity crunch in which the company is finding itself, investor confidence has eroded. The stock shed 16% on June 8, the day when it raised concerns about a liquidity crunch.

Reacting to the management shakeup, the shares were down 12.01% at $10.04 in premarket trading Monday.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga. © 2021

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