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Business & Economy

Top Lordstown Motors Executives Resign

The electric Endurance pick-up truck at Lordstown Motors Corporation, in Lordstown, Ohio on June 25, 2020.
Tony Dejak
The electric Endurance pick-up truck at Lordstown Motors Corporation, in Lordstown, Ohio on June 25, 2020.

Two top executives at Lordstown Motors resigned Monday as problematic news about finances at the Trumbull County electric truck startup continues to trickle out.

Steve Burns resigned as chief executive officer and from the company’s board of directors. Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez also resigned.

Angela Strand, the company's lead independent director, has been appointed executive chairwoman and Becky Roof, a certified public accountant and financial consultant, will serve as interim CFO.

The changes are effective immediately.

Lordstown Motors has already signed on with an executive search firm to find a permanent CEO and CFO, according to a press release.

The resignations come a week before Lordstown Motors is set to host a week-long open house for investors, analysts, partners, potential customers and the media. It's also on the heels of an amended SEC filing, concerns about the lack of cash on hand and an investigation into a research report alleging safety concerns about the Endurance electric truck and questioning the company’s sales contracts.

Lordstown Motors on Monday called the March report by Hindenberg Research “false and misleading” after an investigation by a special committee of its own board of directors. The committee took particular issue with the report’s allegations about the viability of the electric vehicle company’s technology and production timeline, calling the report “not accurate,” while also admitting some clarification is needed regarding its pre-orders, calling some earlier disclosures “in certain respects, inaccurate.”

“Lordstown Motors has repeatedly disclosed that its pre-orders are non-binding, and it has highlighted the risk that pre-orders may not be converted to actual orders,” the company said in a press release detailing its investigation into Hindenberg’s report.

In an amended quarterly financial filing last week, the company warned investors that a lack of cash on hand could impede commercial production and keep Lordstown Motors from hitting its initial target of 2,200 trucks per year.

But the struggling startup said it will begin limited production of the Endurance, first unveiled a year ago this month, in September.

“We remain committed to delivering on our production and commercialization objectives, holding ourselves to the highest standards of operation and performance and creating value for shareholders,” Strand, the newly appointed interim CEO, said in a Monday press release. “Along with the management team, I will continue to work closely with them and the Board to execute on Lordstown’s vision for the future of electrified transportation.”

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