Jean-Andre Luc has resigned as CEO of Hydrogen Neill, shows from a letter Wednesday evening. According to the report, Locke told Neal’s board in mid-2021 that it was a good time to begin the search for his successor.
On Thursday morning, Neil will fall about seven percent on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company slumped about 55 percent last year.
Løkke is expected to be a member of the board of directors when he resigns at the end of the second quarter of this year. He will then be replaced by Håkon Volldal, who announced his resignation from Q-Free just minutes ago.
“Based on Løkke’s letter to the Board of Directors in mid-2021, the Board launched an extensive international search for available candidates based on pre-set criteria. This process is now complete, and we are excited to announce that Håkon Volldal will take over. It represents a modern leadership culture and meets all the standards we had,” Neal wrote in the stock exchange announcement.
Six years as president
Løkke has been with Nel since December 2015, and before that he held senior positions at Norsk Titanium and its subsidiary Rec Wafer.
– Why are you leaving?
– I’ve led the company for six years and it’s been an amazing journey. During that time, we have taken a leading position as one of the world’s largest hydrogen companies, which will be critical to the green transition, Løkke told DN.
“I have told the board of directors myself that after six busy years, I may need more flexibility in daily life, which is why I am now resigning as a senior manager,” he adds.
Under Løkke’s leadership, the hydrogen company has gradually developed into one of the preferred green companies of the Oslo Stock Exchange, with the share price reaching a peak of 34.57 NOK in January last year.
The company is currently valued at NOK 22.9 billion on the stock exchange.
Neil got a big boost in Corona 2020, when the share rose by nearly 300 percent during the first shutdown. However, after the peak at the end of January last year, things went much slower. The share price has now more than halved since peaking, and ended Wednesday’s trading at a closing price of NOK 15.56.
In the third quarter, Neil received revenue of NOK 229 million, and gross profit (ebitda) minus NOK 113 million. The company reports for the fourth quarter and all of 2021 in mid-February.
Six months’ end of service gratuity
According to the latest annual report available to Nel, it appears that in 2020 Løkke had an annual salary of NOK 2.74 million and a bonus of NOK 840 thousand. The annual report states that Locke is entitled to an end of service gratuity for a period of six months.
Neither Loki nor Chairman Ole Inger will say anything if there are other agreements on the final package.
– He’s been sitting there for six years so we should be happy with him. He made a good effort, but he himself wanted to resign from his position now. We hope we’ve found a good new guy, and we totally believe it,” Chairman Inger tells DN.
How is the final package agreed?
– He has a work contract so he worked very well.
The stock exchange announcement announcing the appointment of Håkon Volldal also states that the new CEO can acquire a total of 1.5 million Nel options, which can be exercised for the same number of shares in the company.
Collaboration with Nicola
In the past two years or so, Neil’s collaboration with the scandal, the American company Nicola, has received a lot of attention. Subsequently, the cooperation, dating back to 2018, was met with great optimism in the market, and then the company estimated that shipments of the electrolyzer and associated pumping equipment to Nikola would begin in 2020. The contract value was several billion kroner, according to the company.
In addition, Neil built a large stake in Nikola. Then it narrowed down in 2020.
In September of that year, American activist investor Hindenburg Research released a report alleging that Nikola was a scam and that the company’s management had exaggerated the description of their test trucks to lure investors into it. Nicolas distanced himself from the allegations and criticized Hindenburg in a longer statement a few days later.
Nikola’s share price fell the next time, and it led, among other things, to Neil reduced Nikola shares by half a billion kroner in the third quarter of 2020.
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