Lordstown appoints new CEO in hopes to settle struggling cash flow

Lordstown appoints new CEO in hopes to settle struggling cash flow

Lordstown Motors, unveils their new electric pickup truck Endurance in Lordstown, Ohio, on October 15, 2020. The old GM factory has been acquired by Lordstown Motors, an electric truck startup. - Workers at the General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio, listened when US President Donald Trump said companies would soon be booming. But two years after that 2017 speech, the plant closed. GM's shuttering of the factory was a blow to the Mahoning Valley region of the swing state crucial to the November 3 presidential election, which has dealt with a declining manufacturing industry for decades and, like all parts of the US, is now menaced by the coronavirus. (Photo by MEGAN JELINGER / AFP) (Photo by MEGAN JELINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

Lordstown Motors is strapped for cash and struggling to keep its doors open, but the Ohio-based electric car maker has a new CEO with past experience in automotive giants who might be able to settle the company’s cash flow problems.

Yesterday, Lordstown Motors filed an 8-K form with the SEC that indicated it had made changes to its executives. The company announced that Daniel Ninivaggi would assume the position of Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Acting CEO Angela Strand, who assumed the CEO role inmid-June after Steve Burns was relieved of his duties, will act as a Non-Executive Chair of the Board, according to the filing.

Ninivaggi comes in as a notable executive in the automotive sector, leaving a nearly seven-year post as Director of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. He also has spent time with Navistar, Icahn Enterprises, Tropicana Entertainment Inc., and Motorola.

“Mr. Ninivaggi will provide the Board of Directors of the Company with leadership skills and significant management, strategic and operational experience through his positions as Chief Executive Officer of IEP, Chief Executive Officer of Icahn Automotive Group LLC, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Chairman of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp., Chairman of Garrett Motion Inc. and as a director and officer of multiple public and private companies,” Lordstown wrote in the filing.

Ninivaggi will accept an annual salary of $750,000 and an annual bonus that could be valued at the equivalent of 125% of his annual salary. This bonus will be performance-based. Additionally, “Mr. Ninivaggi will receive an award of 700,000 stock options with an exercise price equal to the closing price on the business day immediately preceding the Effective Date and 700,000 restricted stock units, in each case granted under the Company’s 2020 Equity Incentive Plan, which will vest over three years on each of the first, second and third anniversary of the grant date, subject to Mr. Ninivaggi’s continued employment through each vesting date,” the company said.

Lordstown needs exceptional leadership now more than ever. In early June, the company revealed that it was struggling to generate cash for the production of its Endurance electric pickup truck. The company said there was “substantial doubt” over its ability to remain open until June 2022. The company owns a 6.2 million square foot factory in Lordstown, Ohio, that was previously owned by General Motors.

The company lost $125 million in Q1 2021 and an additional $233.4 million in Q2, bringing its cash on hand to $365.9 million, according to its 10-K filing for the second quarter.

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