Lordstown Motor Corp.
Lordstown Motors Endurance 1540 5e9f93d1defe3

Lordstown Motors Replaces President in Executive Board Changes

Nov. 10, 2021
President Schmidt's replacement, Edward Hightower, has experience at Ford, BMW and GM, Lordstown said.

Lordstown Motors Corp. announced its President, Richard Schmidt, had resigned and would be replaced by Edward Hightower, a veteran of Ford, BMW, and General Motors. In a November 10 statement, the EV startup said Hightower’s appointment alongside two more executive board picks would help bring the Endurance pickup to market and develop Lordstown’s nascent partnership with Foxconn.

Hightower, according to Lordstown, is a veteran auto executive who worked for Lordstown as a consultant with 30 years of experience in product development, engineering, manufacturing, commercial, and senior executive roles.

In addition to Hightower, Shea Burns was appointed senior VP of Operations and current Lordstown COO Jane Ritson-Parsons its Chief Commercial Officer. In October, the Ohio automaker named Adam Kroll CFO.

The company did not provide a reason for Schmidt’s resignation. The company has struggled to move its Endurance electric pickup truck to market since its founder and CEO Steve Burns resigned from the company in June. A short seller alleged that Burns had inflated Lordstown pre-orders, which led to investigations from the SEC and Justice Department.

In a statement, Lordstown CEO Dan Ninivaggi thanked outgoing President Schmidt and welcomed Hightower and Burns to company leadership. Both Hightower and Burns, Ninivaggi said, “bring deep automotive experience” and “strong backgrounds in engineering, new product development, manufacturing, and launch readiness.”

The pair will be instrumental for the company’s launch of its first consumer vehicle, the Endurance electric pickup truck, Ninivaggi said, as well as pursuing “future vehicle development opportunities with Foxconn.” The company announced in October it would sell its Lordstown, Ohio factory to Hon Hai Technology Corp.—better known as Foxconn—in exchange for cooperating with it and Fisker on new electric cars.

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