Lordstown Motors’ rough road continues; CEO and CFO are out

by Emma

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The top two executives at Lordstown Motors have resigned as problems at the Ohio electric truck startup continue to mount

The top two executives at Lordstown Motors have resigned as problems at the Ohio electric truck startup continue to mount.

CEO Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez stepped down, the company said early Monday, sending shares already down 40% this year tumbling 16% at the opening bell.

Yet Lordstown ran into trouble not long after it became a publicly traded company last year through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. Going public through a so-called SPAC is typically quicker than traditional initial public offerings that are usually handled by major financial institutions.

Company shares have been on a sharp, downward trajectory since February and the stock fell below the initial public offering price of around $10 on Monday.

Lordstown named lead independent director Angela Strand as executive chairwoman Monday and said that she will oversee the organization’s transition until a permanent CEO is found. Strand is the managing director of advisory firm Strand Strategy.

Becky Roof, who has been an interim chief financial officer at Eastman Kodak, Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue, was named interim CFO at Lordstown.

The company has hired an executive search firm to seek out a new CEO and chief financial officer.

Also on Monday, the company responded to a scathing March report from the short-selling firm Hindenburg Research, which questioned the number of preorders the company claimed to have received for its marquee Endurance vehicle.

The report spawned four potential class-action lawsuits against Lordstown by investors who claim they were defrauded.

Lordstown said its independent investigation found that the vast majority of the Hindenburg report was unsubstantiated. However, it acknowledged that one potential buyer that made a large number of preorders doesn’t appear to have adequate resources to make those purchases. Other preorders appear too vague or weak to be relied on, the company said Monday.

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