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Nikola Announces Leadership Transition; Appoints Stephen Girsky as Chief Executive Officer

- Michael Lohscheller to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nikola Corporation and as a member of the Board of Directors

- Stephen Girsky, Chairman of Nikola’s Board of Directors, has been named successor, effective immediately, and will remain a member of the Board; Steve Shindler becomes Chairman of the Board


Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq: NKLA), a global leader in zero-emissions transportation and energy supply and infrastructure solutions, via the HYLA brand, today announced Michael Lohscheller will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nikola Corporation effectively immediately and as a member of the Board of Directors effective as of August 31, 2023. Steve Girsky, Chairman of the Board since September 2020, has been named CEO of Nikola. Lohscheller has decided to step down due to a family health matter and will be returning to Europe. He will remain at Nikola in an advisory capacity through the end of September to support a seamless transition.

Lohscheller has led Nikola to a more focused business plan to advance the company’s position as a leader in zero-emissions transportation. Key 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.

Girsky said, “The Board respects Michael’s decision to be with his family during this time and thanks him for his hard work, dedication, and contributions to Nikola. I am grateful for all that Michael was able to accomplish to move our company forward during his tenure.”

“I feel privileged and honored to have served as Nikola’s CEO and to have worked with so many inspiring colleagues who are relentlessly focused on advancing Nikola’s position as a leader in zero-emissions transportation. I am incredibly confident in Nikola’s future,” said Lohscheller.

With more than 30 years of experience working with corporate board executives, labor leaders, OEM leaders, suppliers, dealers, and national policymakers, 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,” stated 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.

“I am delighted for the opportunity to expand my role with the company and to collaborate more closely with Nikola’s deep and experienced leadership team,” said Shindler. “I have known Steve for many years and as Chair, I am excited to support his vision for the future.”

Nikola will host a conference call and webcast to discuss this news and review and discuss the company’s financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023 on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. ET / 7:30 a.m. PT. The webcast will be available at

Stephen J. Girsky serves as managing partner of VectoIQ, LLC, an independent 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 Corporation. He has more than 30 years of experience working with corporate board executives, labor leaders, OEM leaders, suppliers, dealers, and national policymakers.


Girsky 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 was a special advisor to the CEO and CFO of General Motors Corporation from August 2005 to June 2006.

Girsky served as president of Centerbridge Industrial Partners, an affiliate of Centerbridge Partners, LP, and a multibillion-dollar investment fund. Mr. Girsky also previously served as managing director at Morgan Stanley and as senior analyst of the Morgan Stanley Global Automotive and Auto Parts Research Team.

He is on the board of directors at Nikola Corporation, Brookfield Business Partners Limited, the general partner of Brookfield Business Partners, L.P., as well as a private company, Clarios, which is a leader in battery manufacturing. Girsky served on the Board of U.S. Steel from 2016 to 2021 and on the General Motors Board of Directors following its emergence from bankruptcy in June 2009 until June 2016. He also served as the lead director of Dana Holdings Corp. from 2008 to 2009. 

Girsky received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master of business administration from the Harvard Business School.


Nikola Corporation is globally transforming the transportation industry. As a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure, via the HYLA brand, Nikola is driven to revolutionize the economic and environmental impact of commerce as we know it today. Founded in 2015, Nikola Corporation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit


This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws with respect to Nikola Corporation (the “Company”), including statements relating to the Company’s goals and strategies; the Company’s expectations and benefits regarding it business plans and the ability to deliver on those plans and be a leader in zero-emission transportation; and the benefits potentially derived from this leadership transition at the Company;. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by words such as “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections, and other statements about future events based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to: design and manufacturing changes and delays, including global shortages in parts and materials; general economic, financial, legal, regulatory, political and business conditions and changes in domestic and foreign markets; demand for and customer acceptance of the Company’s trucks; the execution and terms of definitive agreements; risks associated with development and testing of fuel-cell power modules and hydrogen storage systems; risks related to the rollout of the Company’s business and milestones and the timing of expected business milestones; the availability of and need for capital; and the factors, risks and uncertainties regarding the Company’s business described in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 filed with the SEC, in addition to the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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