New Lordstown Motors CEO first Black auto chief in 100 years

Edward Hightower was named the CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp. on Tuesday, making him the to start with Black CEO of a U.S. automaker in extra than 100 a long time.

“It is really a thing I’m happy of. I’m happy of my heritage, I am proud of my race,” Hightower instructed Automotive Information on Tuesday. “The issue that I expend the most time concentrating on is how I deliver for my customers and how I provide for the group. I think my track record aids.”

Hightower was promoted to CEO just after getting president of the enterprise. Lordstown Motors also announced several other management moves.

Even though other Black adult men have risen to high automotive government roles — these types of as Ed Welburn, Basic Motors’ previous vice president of worldwide layout, and Ralph Gilles, the chief design and style officer at Stellantis and a member of its best executive crew — Hightower has produced historical past with his new posture.

Hightower, 57, hails from Chicago and gained a bachelor’s degree in typical engineering from the College of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross Faculty of Business enterprise. Later, he held many engineering, tactic, manufacturer marketing and advertising and senior govt roles for GM, Ford and BMW.

Hightower stated his track record has prepared him for the purpose at Lordstown Motors.

“I’ve grown my profession in the automotive field since I’ve been passionate about it. My total lifestyle, I was passionate about cars and trucks,” Hightower mentioned. “Growing up in Chicago, I was good in math and science. So I am blessed to have the profession I have experienced so considerably. I seem forward to continuing it with this changeover towards electrification and major Lordstown.”

Longtime automotive communications executive Randi Payton, CEO of Decisive Media, explained Hightower is extremely experienced for the occupation.

“I give my hats off to Ed Hightower, due to the fact Ed has been undertaking one thing that incredibly couple executives have carried out, not only in the U.S., with a huge selection of experience, but he is also world,” Payton mentioned. “I imagine Ed is remarkably experienced to be the CEO of a key automobile enterprise.”

Katherine T. Burrows

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