Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez announced their joint resignation from the company today as the start-up automaker continues to seek additional capital investment.
Lordstown Motors’ current Lead Independent Director, Angela Strand, has been appointed Executive Chairwoman and will oversee the organization’s operations until a new permanent CEO is found. Additionally, Becky Roof will also serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer until a replacement for Rodriguez has been identified.
“Steve Burns has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and from the Company’s Board of Directors, and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez has also resigned,” the Ohio-based company said in a statement Monday. “All changes are effective immediately and the Company has engaged an executive search firm to identify a permanent CEO and CFO.”
Burns’ and Rodriguez’s resignations come amid a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Lordstown Motors. The SEC began investigating the company and its merger with Special Acquisition Company Diamond Peak Holdings after Hindenberg Research published a report accusing Lordstown Motors of misleading investors. Lordstown Motors said previously that it had attracted 100,000 non-binding pre-orders for its Lordstown Endurance electric pickup truck, but Hindenberg’s report claimed these orders were “largely fictitious.”
Lordstown Motors has also conceded that it needs more capital investment in order to begin mass production of the Lordstown Endurance. The company has begun building beta test prototypes of the electric pickup, which is being marketed as a budget-minded EV pickup for fleets, but is seeking additional investment for sustained production of customer examples. Burns said previously that Lordstown would need $2.25 billion in additional capital between now and 2025 in order to remain solvent and even then it would not break even until 2025.
General Motors sold its Lordstown Assembly plant in Lordstown Motors in late 2019. The automaker also said previously that it had invested $75 million into the start-up in the way of $50 million in plant assets and permits and another $25 million in cash. The automaker had planned to integrate the company into its Tier 1 supply chain network, as well, providing it with access to various components from its proverbial parts bin.
“GM is excited about the progress Lordstown Motors is making because we believe they will help create more good-paying jobs in Ohio and especially in the Lordstown community,” the automaker said in a statement last year.
Despite its ongoing struggles, Lordstown Motors still plans to begin limited production of a small number of Endurance pickups later this year.
“As we transition to the commercial stage of our business – with planned commencement of limited production in late-September – we have to put in place a seasoned management team with deep experience leading and operating publicly-listed OEM companies,” the company said. “We have complete confidence in Angela and Becky, and our expanded leadership team, to effectively guide the company during this interim period.”