Nikola appoints Girsky as CEO

By Chad Elmore04 August 2023

Michael Lohscheller to step down as president and CEO

Nikola Corp. named Steve Girsky, Chairman of the Board since September 2020, as CEO of Nikola.

Due to a family health matter, Michael Lohscheller decided to step down from his positions as president and CEO, effectively immediately, and as a member of the Board of Directors effective as of August 31. He will be returning to Europe and will remain at Nikola in an advisory capacity through the end of September.

Lohscheller led Nikola to a more focused business plan to advance the company’s position in zero-emissions transportation. The company said his accomplishments include driving sales momentum of the battery-electric truck, doubling retail sales from Q1 to Q2 2023; supporting the launch of the Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck and generating customer demand; further advancing the organization’s production capabilities in Coolidge, Ariz.; substantially reducing the cash burn by more than 30% from Q1 to Q2 2023 through re-focusing the business; and concentrating on the core North American marketplace as well as creating a new global hydrogen energy brand, Hyla.

General Motors Stephen Girsky. (Photo: Nikola Corp.)

With more than 30 years of experience working with corporate board executives, labor leaders, OEM leaders, suppliers, dealers, and national policymakers, the company said Girsky is unique in his proven ability to translate vision and strategy into world-class execution, bringing together teams and solutions to drive results.

“Since Nikola’s inception, I have been a champion of its mission. I am energized to take on this role and build upon the work of Michael and the team,” said Girsky. “I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of Nikola’s executives during my time on the Board and look forward to working with them as well as our talented employees as we continue to execute on our strategy and deliver on our milestones to best serve our valued partners, customers, and suppliers.”

In connection with his appointment as CEO, Girsky will remain on the Board of Directors and Steve Shindler, a director since October 2020, will serve as Chairman of the Board. Shindler is a veteran executive who has significant corporate financial management and strategic planning experience. He has served in c-suite positions, including most recently as CEO of NII from 2012 until August 2017, as well as from 2000 to 2008, where he successfully transformed the company from a start-up operation into a leading wireless provider.

Girsky serves as managing partner of VectoIQ, LLC, an advisory firm based in New York. He served as president and CEO of VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. I from its incorporation in January 2018 until the consummation of its business combination with Nikola Corp. Before that, he served in a number of capacities at General Motors from November 2009 until July 2014, including vice chairman. He served as chairman of the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board and was president of GM Europe for a period of time. He also served as the lead director of Dana Holdings Corp. from 2008 to 2009.

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