Nikola Corporation's Board of Directors has announced its decision to reject five director nominees proposed by an entity linked to former CEO Trevor Milton. The rejection comes ahead of Nikola's upcoming 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, where an election for the company's directors is scheduled to take place.
In a press release issued by Nikola, it was revealed that the company received a notice on January 26 from M&M Residual, LLC, connected to the former CEO, proposing the nomination of Cole Cannon, Derek Johnson, Hans Peterson, Paul Southam, and Dave Sparks for the company's eight-member board.
Following a thorough review of Milton's nominees, Nikola stated its rejection of the former CEO's proposal, citing reasons such as the nominees' lack of experience in public companies and their insufficient skills or expertise.
“The Board of Directors reviewed the director nominees and rejected the slate and does not endorse their nomination. The director nominees have no public company experience, add no skills or experience to the board, and indisputably lack the depth of experience that the current Nikola board members bring to the Company. Additionally, it is the Company's belief that the director nominees lack the expertise or knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of a zero-emissions trucking and energy infrastructure business,” Nikola stated in its press release.
In addition to expressing its rejection of Milton's nominees, Nikola highlighted ongoing concerns regarding Milton's impact on the company. Nikola referenced Milton's legal issues, noting that on October 20, 2023, he was found liable in arbitration with the company, resulting in a significant financial award to Nikola, which remains unpaid.
“Mr. Milton is separated from the Company entirely and has had zero involvement in Nikola's day-to-day operations since September of 2020; however, Nikola continues to suffer harm created by Mr. Milton's business decisions from over three years ago in his role as Founder and Executive Chairman,” Nikola wrote in its press release.