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What happened

Nikola (NASDAQ: NKLA) shares have been on a roll recently. Stock of the electric semitruck maker have rocketed more than 50% higher over the last week. That includes a jump of more than 22% Monday morning. Shares backed off after that spike, but remained higher by 20.2% as of 10:30 a.m. ET.

So what

Today’s move comes after the company announced a new chief operating officer (COO) this morning. The appointment of Mary Chan to the COO role is one of CEO Steve Girsky’s first major management decisions. Girsky took over as CEO in early August. Since that time, Nikola has had a major recall of its battery-electric trucks which kept investors wary of the company and its stock.

Girsky held a fireside chat and answered investor questions last week, however, and the stock has been soaring since. The new COO announcement seems to be stoking investor excitement further.

Now what

Chan previously worked at General Motors and Dell Technologies as well as several wireless communications firms. At GM, Chan was responsible for building the company’s connected infotainment products and its next-generation OnStar data service. She will use that experience to lead Nikola’s engineering, product, supply chain, and manufacturing efforts.

Last week, Girsky addressed a recall issue addressing potential battery fires caused by a coolant leak. He said the company has a fix and expects testing to confirm that those trucks can be fully repaired once it is applied.

He also said the company’s hydrogen fuel cell trucks will begin shipping to customers shortly. That is primarily what had shares pushing higher. Now that a new COO is in place, investors seem to believe that the next phase in Nikola’s growth path has begun. Whether shares continue to move higher will depend on the execution in the production and rollout of the hydrogen trucks. It won’t be long before investors get a better look at what Nikola expects to be the main product in its future business.

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Howard Smith has positions in Nikola. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $25 calls on General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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