Shares of Lordstown Motors Corp. rallied more than 20% on Thursday, boosted by news that the electric-vehicle maker has named a former Icahn Enterprises LP head as chief executive.
Lordstown RIDE, +16.23% stock was on track for its highest close since July 26 and rose the most since Nov. 16, when it gained 26%.
Earlier Thursday, the company said it has named Daniel A. Ninivaggi as chief executive, effective immediately. Ninivaggi is a former CEO of Icahn Enterprises IEP, +0.12% and held positions in automotive and auto parts companies, among others. Ninivaggi promised “absolute focus on execution.”
Earlier this month, the company hired a new vice president of global quality, Eric Purcell, charged with overseeing quality standards ahead of the start of production of the Endurance, the company’s planned electric pickup truck.
Lordstown reported a second-quarter loss earlier in August, but reaffirmed it was on track to begin “limited production” of the Endurance in September, with first sales expected early next year and commercial sales by the second quarter of 2022.
The first half of 2021 was eventful for Lordstown, which went public in October through a reverse merger with a blank-check company.
Its Ohio plant belonged to General Motors Co. GM, -2.04%, making compact cars for the legacy auto maker, and was slated to be closed as part of GM’s focus on more popular and profitable trucks and SUVs. It was then sold to Lordstown Motors.
Lordstown recently added a “going concern” warning to regulatory filings, following the departure of its CEO and chief financial officer amid doubts over its order book, with the company later clarifying that the orders it had were not binding.
The Justice Department reportedly has launched a probe into the company’s dealings and the electric-truck maker has disclosed an SEC inquiry.
The stock is down 78% from its closing record high of $31.40 on Sept. 21, and has lost 66% this year. The losses contrast with gains of around 19% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.31% for 2021.