Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors said Tuesday that its president, Edward Hightower, will be its new CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Daniel Ninivaggi, who moves into a strategic role as the company’s executive chairman.
Hightower, a veteran engineer with past experience at Ford Motor and General Motors, will continue to lead the company’s joint venture with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, which bought Lordstown’s Ohio factory for $230 million in May. The joint venture plans to design and develop EVs, which will be manufactured by Foxconn.
“With over 30 years of automotive experience and having made significant contributions to the Endurance launch preparation and Foxconn transactions, Edward is the perfect person to lead the company and launch our product development efforts with Foxconn,” Ninivaggi said in a statement.
Ninivaggi joined Lordstown in August 2021 after the company’s founder, Steve Burns, was forced out amid allegations that he had misled investors. Ninivaggi is credited with leading an overhaul of Lordstown’s production plan for the Endurance, an electric pickup truck, and with engineering the sale of its factory to Foxconn in exchange for much-needed capital. He will focus on “corporate strategy, strategic partnerships, and capital raising” in his new role, the company said.
Lordstown’s shares were up more than 3% in premarket trading after the announcement.