New Lordstown Motors CEO first Black auto chief in 100 years

Edward Hightower was named the CEO of Lordstown Motors Corp. on Tuesday, creating him the 1st Black CEO of a U.S. automaker in far more than 100 yrs.

“It really is a little something I am happy of. I’m happy of my heritage, I’m very pleased of my race,” Hightower advised Automotive News on Tuesday. “The matter that I invest the most time focusing on is how I deliver for my customers and how I supply for the team. I consider my qualifications aids.”

Hightower was promoted to CEO just after currently being president of the firm. Lordstown Motors also declared several other management moves.

Though other Black adult men have risen to higher automotive government roles — these types of as Ed Welburn, General Motors’ former vice president of global design and style, and Ralph Gilles, the main style officer at Stellantis and a member of its top executive staff — Hightower has made historical past with his new situation.

Hightower, 57, hails from Chicago and earned a bachelor’s diploma in basic engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the College of Michigan’s Ross School of Enterprise. Later, he held a number of engineering, method, brand advertising and marketing and senior government roles for GM, Ford and BMW.

Hightower stated his background has geared up him for the job at Lordstown Motors.

“I’ve grown my job in the automotive field due to the fact I have been passionate about it. My whole lifestyle, I was passionate about cars,” Hightower claimed. “Rising up in Chicago, I was superior in math and science. So I’m blessed to have the occupation I’ve had so much. I glimpse ahead to continuing it with this changeover towards electrification and primary Lordstown.”

Longtime automotive communications executive Randi Payton, CEO of Decisive Media, claimed Hightower is hugely experienced for the task.

“I give my hats off to Ed Hightower, since Ed has been undertaking anything that pretty number of executives have carried out, not only in the U.S., with a wide array of knowledge, but he’s also world,” Payton mentioned. “I assume Ed is really competent to be the CEO of a main vehicle firm.”