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Nikola Leaders Saw ‘Massive’ Losses for GM Truck Deal But Backed Milton Anyway

  • Yet top executives said they’d quit if Milton didn’t step down
  • CEO, CFO and general counsel gave board ultimatum, US says
Trevor Milton, center, exits federal court in New York on July 29.
Trevor Milton, center, exits federal court in New York on July 29.Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg
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Top executives of Nikola Corp. saw billions of dollars in losses ahead from a manufacturing deal with General Motors Co. but backed founder Trevor Milton’s vision for the project anyway, the jury in Milton’s criminal fraud trial was told.

The testimony, by Nikola Chief Executive Officer Mark Russell, came a day after prosecutors told the court that Russell, along with the company’s chief financial officer and general counsel, found Milton’s hype so risky that the three threatened to resign in 2020 if the founder didn’t step down as executive chairman.