Nikola Corp. Chief Financial Officer Anastasia “Stasy” Pasterick is leaving the role after just six months, the third senior leader to depart the beleaguered electric truck maker since August.
CEO Michael Lohscheller and Nikola President of Energy Carey Mendes both quit in August.
Pasterick worked at Nikola under former CFO Kim Brady, who retired in April. She was on the team that led Nikola public via a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company VectoIQ in June 2020. She is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
Nikola filed an 8-K announcing her departure with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The filing said Pasterick submitted her resignation on Monday. She remains in the CFO role until Dec. 1. Nikola said it “expects to conclude a search for a replacement in short order.”
Executive churn accelerated after Girsky became CEO
Former General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, who led the SPAC merger as VectoIQ managing director and served for three years as chairman, became the company’s fourth CEO in four years in August. He will oversee financial affairs until the naming of a new CFO.
In September, Girsky hired Mary Chan, another former GM executive and a colleague from VectoIQ, as Nikola’s first chief operating officer. Chan’s hiring and the elevation of board member Steve Schindler to chairman put the key players in the SPAC in charge from the boardroom to the factory. Schindler is CFO of VectoIQ.
Company faces numerous financial challenges
Nikola faces a range of financial challenges as it launches fuel cell electric trucks this quarter. Cash is tight. The company’s stock price closed Friday at $1.04, and Nikola is footing the entire $61.8 million cost of recalling fire-prone battery-electric trucks. The company expects to begin returning repaired trucks to customers in the first quarter.
Nikola lost $425.8 million, or 50 cents a share, in the third quarter. That compared to a loss of $236.2 million, or 54 cents, a year ago. However, following the recent doubling of authorized shares, Nikola had 857.2 million outstanding shares compared to 438.4 million a year ago.
The company improved its cash and equivalents to $362.8 million, mostly through the sales of new equity. The money is sufficient to cover the recall expense and run the business into 2024, Pasterick told analysts on a Nov. 2 call.
Nikola said in a government filing in February that it may run out of money in the next 12 months and have to “modify or terminate” its business.
Nikola electric truck recall price tag $61.8 million
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