Edward Hightower was named the chief director of Lordstown Motors Corp. on Tuesday, making him the primary black CEO of a US automaker in additional than 100 years.
“It is one thing I am happy with. I am happy with my heritage, I am happy with my race,” Hightower mentioned. automotive information on Tuesday. “What I spend probably the most time specializing in is how I ship with my shoppers and the way I ship with the group. I believe my expertise helps.”
Hightower was promoted to CEO after being president of the corporate. Lordstown Engines additionally introduced varied different administration strikes.
Though different black males have risen to prime govt positions within the auto business, similar to Ed Welburn, Basic Motors’ former vp of world design, and Ralph Gilles, the Design Director at Stellantis and a member of its senior govt group: Hightower has made historical past in his new position.
Hightower, 57, is a Chicago native who earned a bachelor’s diploma on the whole engineering from the College of Illinois and an MBA from the College of Michigan Ross Faculty of Enterprise. He later held varied engineering, technique, model advertising and marketing, and senior govt roles for GM, Ford, and BMW.
Hightower mentioned his expertise has ready him for the position at Lordstown Motors.
“I’ve grown my profession within the automotive business as a result of I am obsessed with it. My entire life I have been obsessed with automobiles,” Hightower mentioned. “Rising up in Chicago, I used to be good at math and science. So I am fortunate to have the profession I’ve had up to now. I stay up for persevering with it with this transition to electrification and main Lordstown.”
Automotive communications govt Randi Payton, CEO of Decisive Media, mentioned Hightower is extremely certified for the job.
“Hats off to Ed Hightower, as a result of Ed has been doing one thing that only a few executives have performed, not solely within the US, with a variety of expertise, but in addition globally,” Payton mentioned. “I believe Ed is extremely certified to be the CEO of a serious automotive firm.”