Nikola CEO Mark Russell to retire at the end of the year

Nikola CEO Mark Russell to retire at the end of the year

Nikola Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mark Russell, left, during a media briefing at the unveiling of Iveco-Nikola’s electric truck plant in Ulm, Germany, on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Andrew Grebert | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nikola CEO Mark Russell will retire at the end of the year, the company announced on Wednesday.

Russell will be replaced by Michael Lohscheller, the former CEO of German automaker Opel, who joined Nikola in February.

Shares of Nikola rose about 4% in premarket trading immediately after the news.

Lohscheller, who currently oversees Nikola’s truck production, becomes the company’s president and joins the board immediately.

Chairman Steven Girsky said in a statement Lohscheller had been instrumental in influencing Nikola in his six months at the company, praising his “sense of urgency” and “accelerated decision making”.

“The selection of Michael Lohscheller represents the completion of a thoughtful succession planning process by the Board,” said Girsky. “With over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, Michael brings a wealth of experience as a seasoned executive and as a highly knowledgeable entrepreneur.”

Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Nikola.

Courtesy Nicola

Lohscheller’s career has spanned a number of senior positions in both finance and manufacturing. His previous roles include: President and Chief Financial Officer of Mitsubishi’s European Division; CFO of Volkswagen of America; and CEO of Opel and board member of Opel parent company PSA.

Russell will retire with some important accomplishments. He took over the company immediately after the fall of founder Trevor Milton in September 2020, streamlined its product plan, successfully led it to start production of the battery-electric Tre semitrailer and won shareholder approval to issue new shares over Milton’s objection.

This is breaking news. Please check again for updates.