220223 Nikola Hq Q4 4

Nikola names new CEO

Aug. 11, 2022
Michael Lohscheller has been president of Nikola Corp. since February and has worked in the automotive industry for 20 years. He will replace current CEO Mark Russell on Jan. 1.

Nikola Corp., a manufacturer of zero-emission transportation solutions, has named its current president, Michael Lohscheller, as the company’s CEO. Lohscheller will replace current CEO Mark Russell, effective Jan. 1, and will join the Nikola board of directors. Russell will remain a member of the board.

Lohscheller joined as president of Nikola in February and has worked on moving the Tre battery-electric vehicle (BEV) into series production and toward achieving development milestones for the Tre fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Prior to Nikola,  Lohscheller was CEO of Opel.

See also: CARB approves Nikola Tre BEV, fleets plan asset purchases

"Michael Lohscheller's selection represents the completion of a thoughtful succession planning process by the board of directors. With more than 20 years in the automotive industry, Michael has deep experience as a seasoned executive and as a highly knowledgeable business operator," said Steve Girsky, Nikola's chairman of the board. "In his six months since joining our company, Michael has continued to bring an increased sense of urgency, high level of accountability, improved lines of communication, and accelerated decision-making to Nikola Motor. We believe that same standard of excellence and operational and commercial expertise will benefit the company's vehicle and energy infrastructure vision."

Girsky added, "Mark's many contributions to Nikola have been drivers of the company's progress since 2019. Under Mark's leadership, we have started series production on our BEVs, advanced FCEV pilot testing with select customers, expanded our strategic partner network, continued to build out our world-class Coolidge, Arizona, manufacturing facility, and progressed our hydrogen infrastructure capabilities. On behalf of our board and management team, we want to thank Mark for navigating Nikola through a critical chapter and playing a key role in positioning us for our next phase of growth."

"Being part of Nikola has been the highlight of my career," Russell said. "I could not be prouder of this team and everything we have accomplished and the milestones we have achieved so far. I am confident that under Michael's leadership, we will continue to show how to decarbonize heavy commercial transportation and help the world create the energy ecosystem of the future."

See also: PGT Trucking and partners feature innovation showcase

"I am honored and excited to succeed Mark as Nikola's next CEO as we advance our journey as a pioneer in zero-emission transportation and infrastructure solutions," Lohscheller said. "We have a robust business model, a talented global team, leading electric vehicle technology and energy solutions. We are well-positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunities ahead of us and accelerate our strategic initiatives."

A 20-year global automotive industry veteran, Lohscheller has held a variety of high-ranking positions: executive vice president and CFO at Mitsubishi Motors Europe, executive vice president and CFO at Volkswagen Group of America, CEO at Opel Automobile GmbH, and member of the board at PSA Group and Global CEO of VinFast.

He has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including Eurostar 2019 (Automotive News), Manbest 2019 (Autobest), and Manager of the Year 2019 (AutoZeitung).

Lohscheller graduated from Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and the University of Barcelona (Spain) in 1992. He completed a master's program in European marketing management and obtained his master's degree at Brunel University London in 1996.

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