Everyone’s favorite hydrogen/electric semi/pickup/jetski company looks like it will have fewer distractions moving forward as Nikola Motor’s executive chairmen Trevor Milton has announced that he would be stepping down from the company.
It’s no secret that Nikola Motors has not been having the best last couple of weeks. Constant questions of legitimacy and walls of accusations have been leveled against the company and to this date, it hasn’t been able to adequately bring itself out the hole that it’s been thrown in.
Following Nikola’s most recent response to the bombshell that was Hindenburg’s accusations, Trevor Milton had gone radio silent as investigations by both the SEC and Department of Justice were said to have begun. Whispers of Milton having to step down from his position, or worse, jail time were starting to circulate. Six days had gone by before FreightWaves reported that Milton would be stepping down from his position in the company according to sources close to the matter.
It didn’t take long following the article for it to be confirmed via both a tweet from Trevor and a press release.
I will be cheering from the sidelines with you. Your greatest fan. pic.twitter.com/IaYfZedYhK
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) September 21, 2020
According to the tweet:
“I asked the Board of Directors to let me step aside from my roles as Executive Chairman and a member of the Nikola Board of Directors. The focus should be on the Company and its world-changing mission, not me. I intend to defend myself against false allegations leveled against me by outside detractors.”
According to the press release, Stephen Girsky, former Vice Chairman of General Motors Co. and a member of Nikola’s Board will be taking the spot of Chairman of the Board.
Milton also stated in the press release:
“Nikola is truly in my blood and always will be, and the focus should be on the Company and its world-changing mission, not me. So I made the difficult decision to approach the Board and volunteer to step aside as Executive Chairman. Founding Nikola and growing it into a company that will change transportation for the better and help protect our world’s climate has been an incredible honor. As we move forward, I am confident Steve is the right leader to guide our vision at the Board level. In addition to being an early believer and supporter of Nikola, Steve has more than 30 years of experience working with OEM leaders, suppliers, dealers, labor leaders and national policy makers, and has served as a director of numerous public companies.”
It is important to note that while Milton no longer has any title in the company, he does (to our knowledge at this point) still own roughly 20% of the company, so his hands are not completely off of the company.
With this crazy roller coaster seeming to have finally come to a reprieve it looks like the people in Nikola will be able to work with fewer distractions, although they will still have to deal with meeting the expectation that Milton has imposed on them. And while the company can now hopefully work with less vitriol being thrown its way, we do have to acknowledge that Trevor Milton is one of the greatest hypemen in the world and has constantly put this company in everyone’s mind for the past 3-4 months. As they say, bad publicity is still publicity.
Of course, Milton and Nikola are not out of the woods yet as an ongoing investigation is still happening involving the SEC and DOJ and it might be a while before we see if there will be any punishment levied towards the company and Milton.
Good luck Trevor, it was fun reading through your tweets, even though we’re still blocked.