Less than a year after being appointed CEO of Nikola, Michael Lohscheller has stepped down as CEO and Chairman for personal reasons.
Effective immediately, Lohscheller’s decision will see him continue in an advisory capacity at Nikola until the end of September, ensuring a smooth transition to his successor as CEO, Steve Girsky, while Steve Shindler will take on the role of Chairman of the Board.
The announcement by Nikola cites family health matters as the primary reason for Lohscheller’s decision to step down. In addition to this, he will be returning to Europe, marking a significant shift in his career trajectory. Reflecting on his tenure, Lohscheller expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead Nikola and collaborate with dedicated colleagues committed to driving the company’s position as a leader in emissions-free transportation. He also conveyed confidence in the company’s future trajectory.
Lohscheller’s tenure as CEO began on January 1, 2023, following his arrival at the electric vehicle manufacturer in February 2022. His professional background included a stint as Opel (Vauxhall) CEO and a brief leadership role at the Vietnamese automotive startup VinFast. During his time at Nikola Motor, Lohscheller played a pivotal role in steadying Nikola’s business performance and re-building investor confidence following the well-publicised fraud case involving former CEO and Nikola founder Trevor Milton. His achievements, include a doubling of retail sales between the first and second quarters of 2023, facilitation of the Nikola Tre FCEV launch, and a notable reduction in cash burn by more than 30% from Q1 to Q2 2023.