Lordstown Motors on Tuesday announced the appointment of Melissa Leonard as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, effective Jan. 1, 2022.
The hiring comes at a time the electric vehicle manufacturer is facing investigations from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its merger activity and preorders of its flagship truck. Lordstown Motors merged with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) DiamondPeak Holdings Corp. in October 2020 as a method of going public. Not long after, the company faced allegations of misleading investors regarding the production schedule of its truck, the Endurance.
“We have cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with these and any other regulatory or governmental investigations and inquiries,” Lordstown Motors stated in a regulatory filing in July.
The SEC has paid close attention to the SPAC boom that took off in 2020, particularly regarding electric vehicle manufacturers. On Tuesday, the agency reached a $125 million settlement with Nikola to resolve allegations of fraud.
In her new position, Leonard will replace Tom Canepa, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
Leonard was co-leader of the mergers and acquisitions team for Baker & Hostetler, where she served as outside counsel to Lordstown Motors since 2019. She first joined Baker & Hostetler in 1995 and has extensive legal experience with mergers and acquisitions, financings, and corporate governance matters.
“We are excited to have Melissa join our team at Lordstown Motors,” said CEO Dan Ninivaggi in a press release. “… I look forward to her continuing contributions as a core member of our management team.”