LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A big leadership shakeup at Lordstown Motors Corp. as two of the company’s top executives are out. The company has already named temporary replacements as it continues to move toward commercial production of the Endurance.
Rain clouds moved in over the Lordstown Motors plant on Monday — an ironic sight as word spread that CFO Julio Rodriguez and CEO Steve Burns had stepped down.
“I don’t know what to think right now,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill.
Hill said he was shocked when he heard the news.
“The rumor mill’s running amuck with all the alleged lawsuits and needing money and everything else and, you know, this was kinda a shocker for us but we’re in a wait and see mode,” he said.
Lordstown Motors officially announced the executives’ resignations Monday morning.
It’s a departure that comes less than a week after company officials shed light on a dim outlook on their ability to remain in business a year from now without enough funding to launch full production in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“I think a lot of things happened when Lordstown Motors went on the public stock exchange. I think that’s when you really saw a lot of the scrutiny that happens,” said Sen. Michael Rulli.
“They had a very aggressive approach to it, maybe it was too aggressive,” said former Sen. Sean O’Brien.
Rulli and O’Brien have been supporters of Lordstown Motors from day one. They both remain optimistic about the company’s future.
“Maybe this is a good thing for Lordstown Motors because it kinda gets them away from, you know, some of that distraction that’s been going on. So this could probably be a positive thing. I think Steve was a great visionary. I think he did a great job,” O’Brien said.
Lordstown Motors also announced the appointment of Becky Roof as interim CFO and Angela Strand as executive chairwoman until a new CEO is selected.
“Angela’s been involved with the EV industry for quite some time and also she’s known as somebody that gets things done. So I think her main goal is to put full focus of our energy right on the production of the Endurance and let’s get to the finish line of full production before Christmas,” Rulli said.
One thing to remember, Burns had 26 percent of Lordstown Motors’ stock when that amended quarterly report came out six days ago, roughly 46 million shares. The stock was down $2.15 on Monday, an 18 percent drop.