Founder of Nikola Motor, Trevor Milton has been fired. In breaking news this afternoon, Freight Waves first reported that ‘sources close to the matter’ understood that Trevor Milton had resigned as Executive Chairman of Nikola Motors.
That has since been confirmed by Bloomberg writer Ed Ludlow.
In an extraordinary move, the former Vice Chairman of General Motors, Stephen Girsky, will now take on the role of Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.
While the official line may be that Milton resigned, we’ve seen this story before, where technically he’s given a chance to resign, or be sacked, but either way, he’s out.
The company has been bathed in controversy since the short seller Hindenburg Research outlined a scathing report on the behaviour of the company, led by Milton.
Since then the hydrogen / electric-focused company has seen SEC investigations into their operations and now this.
After being an avid presence on social media, Milton hadn’t posted in almost a week since posting the company’s response to the report. This afternoon, he posted with this statement.
In case you’re wondering what that strange reference to ‘1.00784 in a million’ is about, that’s the atomic weight of Hydrogen.
While there’ll be a lot of people cheering the downfall of Trevor Milton, I think these events will ultimately detract from the company’s overall mission of delivering a clean-energy future. It puts many of the company’s projects in question and that means many people who’ve pre-ordered Nikola products are less likely today, to receive them.
Companies can certainly live on post-founder, but many are never the same. Here’s hoping what’s left of Nikola can be restructured to remove the bad and turn this into what it should have always been, a company that develops sustainable vehicles.