The embattled startup
is adding depth to its management bench, hiring John Whitcomb to lead the company’s effort to bring its electric truck to market.
Whitcomb will develop Lordstown’s (ticker: RIDE) sales and service strategy. “I am excited to be joining the history-making team bringing the world’s first all-electric commercial pickup truck to life,” said Whitcomb in the company’s news release. “I truly believe in what Lordstown Motors has set out to do, and I am looking forward to getting to work with our customers across the country and, eventually, across the world.”
Belief, and stability, is something investors are looking for. Shares are down about 6% for the week after the company announced the departure of CEO
and CFO Julio Rodriguez on Monday.
So far this year, the stock has fallen about 46%, given the management turmoil and delays in commercializing Lordstown’s Endurance light-duty pickup truck. In May, the company said in its earnings release that “expected Endurance production in 2021 will be limited and would at best be 50% of our prior expectations.”
Whitcomb has 30 years experience in the auto business. He spent nine years at
General Motors (GM)
in various roles, including director of global retail sales and technology, where he managed dealer relationships.
“As we turn the corner on our road to production, we are putting in place a deeply experienced team to manage the Lordstown Endurance’s transition into commercial use,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, Lordstown’s chief operating officer, in the news release. “John has the experience, attitude and tenacity to put in place systems to ensure the Lordstown family of customers continues to receive communication and support once they get the keys to their vehicle and for years to come.”
Transitioning to commercial operations will also require more capital. Lordstown’s current financial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission including a “going concern” warning that means, essentially, the company can’t continue operating unless something significant changes. In the case of Lordstown, the company needs more cash to reach commercialization of the truck. Lordstown management says it is exploring options to raise more cash now.
Lordstown stock is still volatile, despite the management announcement. Shares were down about 7.6% in premarket trading. Futures on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average,
for comparison, were both down less than 1% Thursday morning.