Canoo Names Executive Chairman Tony Aquila as New CEO

Aquila will replace Canoo co-founder Ulrich Kranz as the company's CEO once Kranz leaves at the end of the month.
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Electric vehicle maker Canoo Inc  (GOEV) - Get Report announced before the market open that it was appointing Tony Aquila, its executive chairman and one of its largest investors, to the role of chief executive. 

Aqiula is a former software CEO who joined Canoo in October. He immediately replaces Ulrich Kranz, who co-founded the company and will be leaving his post at the end of the month. 

"Any company that's young and at this age is fine-tuning its strategy," Aquila told Reuters in an interview. "This is an evolution story."

Shares of Canoo initially fell on the news but have since climbed back and were trading down 0.23% to $8.59 at last check. 

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Aquila has informed Canoo's board that he will forego any additional cash compensation and instead will take Canoo stock as compensation. 

"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," Aquila said in the press release announcing his new position. 

Canoo has faced some upheaval in its ranks this year after chief financial officer Paul Balciunas departed  in March. The company went public last year through a SPAC merger. 

Last month, Canoo was downgraded to neutral from buy by Roth Capital after the Dallas company said that it planned to deemphasize its contract-engineering-services line. Roth slashed its price target on the stock to $12 from $30.

"The difficult part is where the pivot points after the reset, as Canoo has deemphasized engineering services done for others, pushed back from the subscription model for the lifestyle vehicle, and replaced" its chief financial officer and vice president of corporate strategy, Roth analyst Craig Irwin said.