Nikola Corp. announced on Friday that it has rejected the five board of directors nominees proposed by M&M Residual LLC – an entity owned by Trevor Milton, the founder of the hydrogen- and electric-truck maker. According to FactSet data, Milton is the third-largest shareholder of Nikola, owning 51.05 million shares, which accounts for 4.4% of the outstanding shares.

The board of directors at Nikola stated that the director nominees lack public company experience, do not bring any additional skills or expertise to the board, and fall short in terms of depth of experience compared to the current board members.

Despite being separated from the company since September 2020 and having no involvement in Nikola's day-to-day operations, Milton's past business decisions as the founder and executive chairman continue to negatively impact the company. Nikola emphasized that it continues to suffer harm due to Milton's actions.

Nikola's stock, which has been below the significant $1 level since December 5th, saw a slight rise of 0.6% in premarket trading. However, over the past year, it has plummeted by 70.7% and experienced a drastic decline of 96.5% since the end of September 2020.

It is worth noting that Milton has been criminally convicted of one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. In an arbitration with the company that took place in October 2023, he was found liable and ordered to pay $165 million to Nikola; however, the judgment remains unpaid.

Nikola emphasized that its current board consists of a diverse group of experts in various fields, including trucking, energy technology startups, and customer service. Due to the complexity of the hydrogen ecosystem, the company believes that its board members possess the necessary expertise and experience for Nikola's success, and it stands firmly behind them.

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