The news just keeps getting worse for Lordstown Motors. The troubled electric truck maker said Monday that its CEO and chief financial officer were stepping down — just one week after warning that the company could go out of business.
Shares of Lordstown plunged nearly 20% in early trading on the news. Lordstown didn’t give a concrete reason for the departures of CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez. But board member David Hamamoto said in a press release that as the company plans to start limited production of its vehicles in late September, it was time to “put in place a seasoned management team with deep experience leading and operating” publicly listed auto companies. Lordstown said it has hired an executive search firm to find a permanent CEO and CFO.
The stock was already down more than 40% so far in 2021 before Monday’s news because the company, which went public last year through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), has been struggling to ramp up production of its electric pickup, the Endurance. Lordstown has named its lead independent director Angela Strand as executive chairwoman to oversee the company until a replacement is found for Burns, who is also giving up his seat on Lordstown’s board. Becky Roof, an accountant and consultant who has previously served as interim CFO at Eastman Kodak and retailer Hudson’s Bay, will serve as interim CFO, replacing Rodriguez. Lordstown has also been battling charges from a research firm named Hindenburg that has questioned the validity of various sales contracts and also raised safety concerns about the Endurance.