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The Wall Street Journal: Nikola CEO tells jury he had concerns over founder Trevor Milton’s ‘exaggerations’ to investors


Nikola Corp. CEO Mark Russell told a New York federal jury Monday that he had concerns about joining the electric-truck company because he believed its founder, Trevor Milton, “was prone to exaggeration in public statements.”

Testifying in Milton’s securities-fraud trial, Russell said that before coming on board in 2019 as president of Nikola
he and Milton reached an agreement that Russell would become the chief executive officer if Nikola became a publicly traded company. Russell said he sought the arrangement because as head of a public company, statements from the CEO needed to be accurate.

“Anything he said in public was the equivalent of a press release or securities filing,” Russell said of his concerns about Milton making misstatements as the company head.

An expanded version of this report appears at

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