Electric truck maker Lordstown Motors Corp. said on Thursday it appointed Daniel Ninivaggi as its CEO with immediate effect, handing over the company's reins to a key former employee of activist investor Carl Icahn at a time it is facing intense regulatory scrutiny and production challenges.
The company's founder and former CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez resigned in June following the board's conclusions from an internal investigation into claims made by short-seller Hindenburg Research.
In March, Lordstown's shares slumped after Hindenburg disclosed that it had taken a short position on the stock, saying the company had misled investors. Lordstown has previously warned it needs to raise additional capital.
"Job No. 1 is to make sure we stay on track from a production standpoint," Ninivaggi told Reuters in a telephone interview. "Without that, you can't raise capital."
Ninivaggi, 57, was the former CEO of Icahn Enterprises LP, controlled by Carl Icahn. While working for Icahn, Ninivaggi was Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Federal Mogul Holdings Corp., an $8 billion supplier of powertrain, chassis, sealing, brake and other automotive components, prior to its sale to Tenneco Inc. in 2018.
Ninivaggi is no longer affiliated with Icahn, a Lordstown spokeswman told Automotive News in an e-mail.