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Nikola Corporation has named current president Michael Lohscheller chief executive officer (CEO) and president, replacing Mark Russell who will retire on 1 January, 2023.

Lohscheller has also joined the board of directors effective immediately and will become CEO upon Russell’s retirement. Russell will remain a board member.

Lohscheller joined as president last February and has already made several notable achievements, including having a major impact in moving the Tre battery electric vehicle (BEV) into series production and achieving development milestones for the Tre fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).

He was previously CEO of Opel, where he led the company to sustainable profitability and oversaw its switch to electrification.

“With more than 20 years in the automotive industry, Lohscheller has deep experience as a seasoned executive and as a highly knowledgeable business operator,” said chairman Steve Girsky. “In his six months since joining our company, he has continued to bring an increased sense of urgency, high level of accountability, improved lines of communication and accelerated decision-making to Nikola Motor. We believe that same standard of excellence and operational and commercial expertise will benefit the company’s vehicle and energy infrastructure vision.”

Girsky added: “Russell’s many contributions have been drivers of the company’s progress since 2019. Under Mark’s leadership, we have started series production on our BEVs, advanced FCEV pilot testing with select customers, expanded our strategic partner network, continued to build out our Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facility and progressed our hydrogen infrastructure capabilities.”

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By GlobalData

Lohscheller has held a variety of high-ranking positions: EVP and CFO at Mitsubishi Motors Europe, EVP and CFO at Volkswagen Group of America, CEO at Opel Automobile board member at PSA Group and global CEO of VinFast.