Nikola founder resigns as president following fraud allegations

Stephen Girsky, former vice president of General Motors and member of the board of Nikola, has been named president

Stephen Girsky, former vice president of General Motors and member of the board of Nikola, has been named president.

Trevor Milton, founder of the American electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola, has resigned from his position as president following allegations of fraud made in recent days against the company in its race to achieve zero-emission vehicles. Now, both the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are investigating the company on the alleged allegations. Nikola’s stock drops 22% in the market before the open.

The electric trucking company said the board has accepted Milton’s resignation. Stephen Girsky, former vice president of General Motors and a member of Nikola’s board, has been named president, effective immediately.

“The focus should be on the company and its mission to change the world, not me. So I made the difficult decision to step aside as CEO and have communicated it to the board,” Milton said in a note posted on Twitter

Hindenburg Research published a lengthy report a week ago accusing Nikola of being a “fraud complex built on dozens of lies throughout the career of its founder and CEO, Trevor Milton.” Nikola rejected the allegations and threatened legal action.

Shortly after, it became known that the United States Securities Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice are investigating the manufacturer for possible irregularities or bad commercial practices.

Among others, the US fund accuses Trevor of having tricked [Nikola’s] partners into signing deals by “falsely claiming that he had extensive proprietary technology.”

Last week, Nikola signed an agreement with General Motors, before war broke out, that the manufacturer will build Nikola’s first vehicle, the Badger pickup.

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