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2024-07-14 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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On March 4, Nikola, an American electric car company, announced that Thomas Okray, a former GM and Amazon executive, was officially appointed chief financial officer of the company.

Thomas Okray graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago, according to the data. He has worked in several countries, including Germany, Italy, Poland and South Korea, and spent considerable time in China, India and Brazil. Okray previously held executive and CFO positions at General Motors for 14 years and vice president at Amazon; CFO of Global Product Development at Opel; Executive Director of Product Development in Asia and Europe; and vice president of the Fiat-GM Powertrain Joint Venture.

It is worth mentioning that this is Nikola's third executive replacement in less than a year.

In March 2023, Nikola announced that CFO Kim Brady would retire on April 7 and be replaced by Anastasiya Pasterick. However, less than half a year in office, Nikola's financial pressure increased, resulting in a net loss of $813 million in the first three quarters of 2023. In November of the same year, Pastrick announced his resignation to "seek other opportunities." Nikola said at the time that it expected to complete the search for a new chief financial officer soon, during which Nikola's key financial leaders would report directly to Nikola CEO Girsky.

Anastasiya Pasterick, former CFO of Nikola

In fact, Nikola has lost three senior executives since August 2023. On August 4, 2023, Nikola CEO Michael Lohscheller and Nikola Energy President Carey Mendes resigned. Steve Girsky, Chairman of the Board of Directors since September 2020, has been appointed CEO of Nikola. In September 2023, Girsky hired Mary Chan, another former GM executive and colleague of VectoIQ, as Nikola's first chief operating officer.

In addition, Nikola founder Trevor Milton resigned on September 20,2020 after being accused by short-sellers. In September 2020, Nikola's scam was exposed by a short report accusing founder Trevor Milton of lying to investors and Nikola of not having its own patented technology. On the 12th of the same month, Trevor Milton was charged with four counts of fraud. Nikola eventually pleaded guilty to the charges and Trevor Milton resigned.

Nikola was founded in 2014 by Trevor Milton, known as Tesla in the truck world, because Nikola and Tesla together are the name of American inventor Nikola Tesla. In 2016, Nikola launched its first hydrogen truck product, Nikola One, which was described as "the most advanced semi-trailer truck in the world so far." Trevor Milton said Nikola has been 10-15 years ahead of other car companies in the technology field, boasting that it will surpass Daimler, Volvo and other mainstream truck companies in 1-2 years.

In February 2020, Nikola released a brand-new product, Nikola Badge electric pickup truck, which went on sale directly against Tesla CyberTruck. In June of the same year, Nikola successfully listed on NASDAQ through backdoor. At the close of listing on the same day, Trevor Milton was worth US $8.1 billion, becoming the first person in the global hydrogen fuel field. Three days after listing, Nikola's share price doubled to a market capitalisation of up to $34 billion, once surpassing Ford, a century-old automaker, and was once seen in the industry as "Tesla's strongest rival." But Nikola's share price is now in a different light. Nikola shares had fallen to $0.7 as of March 4.

Nikola's revenue for 2023 was $35.84 million, down 27.93% year-on-year, and its net loss was $966 million, down 23.21% year-on-year, according to the latest earnings data. Among them, 35 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2023, realizing the delivery of the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

In addition, Nikola raised $230.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 and $464.7 million in unrestricted cash at the end of the year, the highest unrestricted cash balance since the fourth quarter of 2021, according to earnings data. It should be noted that Nikola, like many other electric car startups, has encountered a cash shortage. Pastrick had said in a government filing in November that the company could run out of money over the next 12 months and therefore might need to "modify or terminate" its business.

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