Nikola Appoints Ex-Eaton Finance Chief Thomas Okray as CFO

CEO Steve Girsky Sheds Interim Responsibilities as OEM Looks for Steep Cash Burn Cuts
Thomas Okray
Okray says he believes in Nikola's mission. (Nikola)

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Class 8 truck maker Nikola Corp. appointed Thomas Okray as chief financial officer March 4, ending a three-month stint where CEO Steve Girsky wore both hats.

Okray previously served as CFO at component manufacturer Eaton Corp. and parts distributors Grainger and Advance Auto Parts. Before that he spent 14 years at General Motors.

“I have traveled the globe over the past 40 years and worked with cutting-edge technologies across various vehicles. Scaling the zero-emissions technology at Nikola is something I want to be a part of,” said Okray.

“My connection with some of Nikola’s leadership spanning decades made the decision even more natural. I believe in Nikola’s mission and what they are working to do in the trucking and energy sectors and am excited to join the company and contribute in any way possible,” he added.


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Ex-GM executive Girsky took over the CFO responsibilities on an interim basis on Dec. 4 after then-finance chief Anastasiya “Stasy” Pasterick resigned. Pasterick joined Hawthorne, Calif.-based Universal Hydrogen, which aims to offer hydrogen-powered electric fuel cell powertrains for commercial aircraft. She took on the CFO role at Nikola in April 2023.

“We are proud to welcome Tom as our CFO. Attracting someone of his caliber is a testament to the exciting journey Nikola is on,” said Girsky. “Tom’s depth of financial expertise, cultivated over four decades, will play a crucial role as we expand our supply base and profitably scale our business. Tom will not only complete our executive team, but also help to solidify our foundation for success as we continue to reshape the trucking industry and drive decarbonization forward.”

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One of Okray’s top tasks will be reducing Nikola’s cash burn as production of the Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric truck ramps up. In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nikola trimmed losses by 30.8% year-over-year, but was still $153.6 million in the red for the three-month period and reported a loss of just shy of $1 billion in 2023.

Still, funds on hand are rosier than in a couple of years, Nikola said Feb. 22, after it raised $230.3 million in funding in Q4. The company’s year-end cash on hand was $464.7 million, the highest balance since Q4 2021.