Former Nikola CEO Mark Russell Keeps Selling NKLA Stock

  • Former Nikola (NKLA) CEO Mark Russell has sold shares almost every day since Sept. 15.
  • The company announced earlier this week that it had entered into a hydrogen agreement with Plug Power (PLUG).
  • Shares of NKLA stock are down by over 70% year-to-date.
NKLA stock - Former Nikola CEO Mark Russell Keeps Selling NKLA Stock

Source: Stephanie L Sanchez /

It’s been a rough year for automotive stocks, and Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) is no exception. Shares of NKLA stock are down by over 70% year-to-date, although the stock is up by about 10% today.

Shareholders received some uplifting news earlier this week after Nikola announced that it had entered into a green supply hydrogen agreement with Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG). The agreement will see Plug purchase up to 75 Nikola Tre fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) over the next three years. At the same time, Nikola will purchase a 30 tons per day (TPD) liquefaction system from Plug that has the potential to scale up to 150 TPD. Nikola will begin receiving hydrogen from Plug starting on Jan. 1.

Nikola President, Energy Carey Mendes added:

“Nikola and Plug share a common vision for sustainable, efficient, energy solutions which supports our commitment to decarbonize the transportation industry. This strategic relationship will help underpin Nikola’s ambitious growth plans to expand the hydrogen energy business and to support the adoption of Nikola’s zero-emission Class 8 trucks.”

NKLA Stock: Consistent Sales by Former CEO Mark Russell Draw Attention

However, the news wasn’t enough to stop Director and former CEO Mark Russell’s consistent sales. In August, Russell announced that he would step down and retire at the end of the year, with Michael Lohscheller as his replacement. However, his Form 4s starting in November list him as a director and not a CEO, implying that he has already stepped down.

Since Sept. 15, Russell has sold about 75,000 shares of NKLA nearly every day. There is a caveat here, as the shares were all received as part of a stock option compensation program. Furthermore, the sales were all enacted through a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan.

Still, the sales convey a negative image. As part of the stock option plan, Russell receives discounted shares of NKLA. His most recent, reported sale occurred on Dec. 14 when he sold 75,000 shares, received at $1.06 per share, at an average price of $2.16 per share. He also reported selling 852,429 shares on the same day to cover tax withholding obligations. Following the sales, he still owns 1.95 million shares and stock options equivalent to 3.95 million shares.

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On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Eddie Pan specializes in institutional investments and insider activity. He writes for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team, which centers on the latest news involving popular stocks.

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