Nikola founder Trevor Milton steps down as exec. chairman; NKLA shares plummet

Nikola Founder Trevor Milton
Screenshot from Nikola World 2019 video

Trevor Milton, the founder of Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) voluntarily stepped down as executive chairman and a member of the company’s Board of Directors amid continuing allegations of fraud, scrutiny of its technology, and his actions.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are currently investigating allegations by Hinderburg Research that Nikola is another case of smoke-and-mirrors. The short-seller accused Milton of making an “ocean of lies” about the company’s technology to establish partnerships with top automakers such as General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) desperate to catch up to Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA). 

Last week, Milton denied the short-seller’s accusations and welcomed regulators’ investigations into Nikola.

Milton intends to defend himself from accusations

In a statement on Sunday, Milton said he “made a difficult decision to approach the Board and volunteer to step aside as executive chairman.”

He also stated, “Nikola is truly in my blood and always will be, and the focus should be on the Company and its world-changing mission, not me. Founding Nikola and growing it into a company that will change transportation for the better and help protect our world’s climate has been an incredible honor.”