Canoo has announced the appointment of Tony Aquila, its executive chairman and one of the company’s largest investors, to the added role of CEO. In this position, Aquila will lead the company in its focused strategy of bringing the Company’s best-in-class electric vehicles (EVs) to the masses.
Canoo is a Los Angeles-based mobility technology company developing breakthrough, purpose-built EVs with a proprietary and highly versatile multi-purpose platform architecture. Along with Aquila’s appointment as CEO, the company announced the opening of executive offices in Dallas. California will remain the home of the company’s concept development, including design and engineering.
Aquila succeeds Ulrich Kranz, who has resigned effective April 30, 2021. Aquila has told the board he will forego any additional cash compensation and instead – since he so believes in the future of the company – take the added compensation in Canoo stock. Aquila, through a controlled investment vehicle, invested in Canoo in August and December 2020.
Separately, the company has appointed Hector Ruiz as general counsel. Ruiz succeeds Andrew Wolstan, who resigned effective April 30, 2021. Ruiz was promoted following his successful tenure as vice president Global Strategy, Tax Counsel, and Treasury.
“The entire board is pleased and excited that someone with Tony’s background, track record and vision has agreed to lead the company,” said Thomas Dattilo, a member of the board of directors and chairperson of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. “I’ve seen firsthand what Tony can accomplish. We are confident the company will benefit from Tony’s extensive experience in creating and leading high growth companies, both private and public, as we enter this critical stage in our growth.”
“Tony has a proven commitment and vision for deploying electric vehicle technology for the benefit of working Americans. His passion for Canoo’s multi-purpose platform being deployed to increase jobs and worker productivity, as demonstrated by the fully electric pickup truck, can be a game-changer benefitting the environment and the American economy,” said Director Ambassador Josette Sheeran, a member of the Company’s Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. “I am fortunate to have already been working with the Company when Tony arrived and have witnessed his dynamic leadership and clear vision for how best to ensure Canoo works in partnership with America’s most brilliant engineers and software technologists for a long and prosperous future.”
Aquila joined the Canoo board as executive chairman on Dec. 21, 2020. He was previously elected chairman on Oct. 19, 2020.
“In looking at any company, I start with the product and people first,” Aquila said. “In fact, I invested in Canoo because of the technology associated with the multi-purpose platform, their engineering team and the market opportunity the company has to bring EVs to everyone. I see tremendous upside in this Company. We are focused on aligning the business to best meet the greatest market demand.”