Lordstown Motors Corp appointed Daniel Ninivaggi as CEO on Thursday, handing over the reins of the electric-truck maker to the former employee of investor Carl Icahn at a time it is facing intense regulatory scrutiny and production challenges.
Shares of the company jumped more than 6% in premarket trading after the announcement, reports Reuters.
The company’s founder and largest shareholder Steve Burns resigned as chief executive officer in June following the board’s conclusions from an internal investigation into claims made by short-seller Hindenburg Research.
The company, which previously warned it needs to raise additional funding, is hiring industry veteran Ninivaggi, who has also overseen Icahn Enterprises’ automotive aftermarket service network and parts distribution businesses.
Ninivaggi, who serves as the chairman for autoparts maker Garrett Motion Inc, has also been a director at companies including Motorola Mobility, Navistar International and Hertz Global Holdings.
Last month, Lordstown said a hedge fund had committed to purchasing up to $400 million of the startup’s shares over a three-year period. Executives said that the firm was exploring other financing options, including debt.
Lordstown, which hung the “open for business” sign on its northeastern Ohio plant earlier this month, has struggled with the launch of its Endurance pickup truck.
Lordstown still faces a lot of scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Manhattan and officials with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to its merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and statements it previously made about preorders for its vehicles.