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Former Nikola CEO Trevor Milton defends his Board nominees

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Former Nikola CEO Trevor Milton is fighting back against the Board of Directors’ decision to reject his five director nominees. The Nikola Board announced its rejection of Milton’s director nominees earlier this month. 

Milton had nominated Cole Cannon, Derek Johnson, Hans Peterson, Paul Southam, and Dave Sparks, who runs the HeavyD YouTube channel, for Nikola’s Board of Directors. The current Nikola Board cited several reasons behind its rejection of Milton’s nominees, from their alleged lack of experience in a public company to a lack of skills. 

“The director nominees have no public company experience, add no skills or experience to the board, and indisputably lack the depth of experience that the current Nikola board members bring to the Company. Additionally, it is the Company’s belief that the director nominees lack the expertise or knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of a zero-emissions trucking and energy infrastructure business,” Nikola’s current Board wrote in a press release

In a press release, M&M Residual, LLC, an entity connected to Milton, together with its affiliates, argued that the former CEO’s director nominees should be considered. As per the shareholder group, which owns about 4.5% of Nikola stock, Milton’s selections should help the company fix its issues and put it back on a path to value creation. The group argued that Nikola’s leadership today has shown subpar performance, with the company’s stock nearly getting wiped out.

“Since taking over as Chair in 2020, CEO Steve Girsky and his Board have overseen a staggering and consistent decline in Nikola’s stock from $30+ per share to a delisting Nasdaq price of less than seventy cents per share… For approximately four years now, the Board has overseen operational underperformance, value destructive acquisitions, the breakdown of the Iveco Group-Nikola partnership, the loss of meaningful European market share and the sale of key assets while taking on debt. These actions (among other concerning missteps surrounding safety and disclosures) have resulted in the destruction of nearly 100% of stockholder value.

Concerningly, the Board also diluted Nikola shares to the tune of an additional 800 million last year, so that over 1.6 billion total shares are now authorized with over 1 billion shares in circulation. After destroying significant value and diluting stockholders as Chair, Steve Girsky then took the helm as CEO in August 2023. Under Mr. Girsky’s leadership, stockholders suffered an approximate 72% decline in value. No matter how you look at it, over all relevant time periods this management team and Board have obliterated stockholder value and put our Company at risk,” the stockholder group noted. 

The group claimed that it had been approached by numerous stockholders who wish to see the current leadership of Nikola replaced. M&M Residual, LLC and its affiliates’ press release also noted that Milton’s five picks for Nikola’s director post have already started working on an operational strategy that would improve the company. 

“Our Group has been approached by numerous stockholders who want to see CEO Steve Girsky and his Board replaced with high-integrity individuals. This is a reasonable request, especially considering Nikola recently disclosed that substantial doubt exists regarding its ability to continue as a going concern through the next 12 months… In stark contrast to the current Board, our independent slate includes proven founders and executives who collectively possess the operational, supply chain, and electric vehicle experience that we believe will be required to initiate a value-enhancing turnaround at Nikola. Our five-member slate has already begun working on an operating strategy that considers the interests of stockholders, employees, partners, and customers,” the shareholder group noted. 

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The post Former Nikola CEO Trevor Milton defends his Board nominees appeared first on TESLARATI.


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