The head of Nikola leaves the post after accusations of fraudSeptember 22, 2020
The startup has already chosen a new chairman
Trevor Milton, founder and head of electric truck startup Nikola, announced that he is stepping down as chairman. He made this decision after publicly accusing him of fraud and defrauding investors regarding the company’s technology.
Less than two weeks ago, securities trading firm Hindenburg Research published an investigation in which it spoke about Nikola’s fraud and called the head of the startup “a skillful swindler.”
Milton’s place as chairman will be taken by Stephen Girsky, a former deputy chairman of General Motors and a member of Nikola’s board of directors. Milton owns more than 20 percent of the company’s shares.
“The main focus of the company should be on its mission, which will change the world, not on me. So I made the tough decision to step aside, ” – Milton said.
The startup, whose shares plummeted after the publication of the investigation, does not intend to admit guilt. In an official statement, Nikola calls the allegations “false” and “misleading” and accuses Hindenburg Research of manipulating the market in order to lower the value of Nikola’s securities.
In an investigation by Hindenburg Research, published on September 10, it was said that Nikola was deceiving investors and presenting “raw” projects as almost finished. For example, the firm pointed to a commercial in which the Nikola truck was rolling downhill by inertia instead of using the power of the power plant.
According to representatives of the startup, they “did not claim that the truck is moving on its own engine.” The video was filmed by a third-party company for advertising and was accompanied on social media by the words “in motion”, not “on the power of our own motor,” Nikola said.
General Motors previously partnered with Nikola to acquire a $ 2 billion stake in the startup. Despite the scandalous accusations, GM intends to continue working with Nikola: the companies will jointly develop pickups and heavy trucks on hydrogen.
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