AYRO, Inc (AYRO) Appoints Thomas M. Wittenschlaeger as CEO
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AYRO, Inc. (NASDAQ: AYRO) (“AYRO” or the “Company”), an engineer and manufacturer of light-duty, urban and short-haul electric vehicles (EVs), today announces the appointment of Thomas M. Wittenschlaeger as Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Wittenschlaeger has more than 25 years of executive experience in growing technology-driven engineering and product development companies and executing turn arounds for such organizations. He joins AYRO after most recently serving as CEO of NantMobility, Inc., an operating unit of NantWorks, the umbrella organization for a number of companies in commerce, healthcare, and digital entertainment, which produces environmentally friendly transportation platforms, including electric vehicles, and combines cutting-edge design with the latest technologies to effectively reduce urban clutter without sacrificing quality of life. Prior, he served as chief strategy officer of FOX Factory, an industry leader in ride dynamics for off-road vehicles, including trucks, side-by-sides, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles, and watercraft, and previously served as president of FOX Factory’s powered vehicles group. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.
“Bringing Tom’s experience to AYRO will help to usher in the next exciting phase of development for AYRO. His familiarity with the environmentally friendly vehicle industry, as well as the vehicle industry in general, makes him an excellent choice to guide the Company forward. We believe his technology/design savvy and business acumen, combined with the Company’s strong balance sheet and cash position will serve to drive AYRO forward in a developing market, and we look forward to his leadership,” commented Josh Silverman, Chairman of AYRO, Inc. “We thank Rod Keller for his years of dedication to the success of AYRO and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Rod Keller will remain a consultant to AYRO for a transitionary period.
“AYRO is unique in the world of electric vehicle manufacturers as its primary function is design and engineering. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the EV industry, and I look forward to rallying together the AYRO management and support teams and deploying the Company’s resources toward enhancing our position in the market and optimizing value for our stockholders. I look forward to collaborating with the team, the Board and our multiple partners toward continuing to advance our product lines,” added Mr. Wittenschlaeger.
On September 23, 2021, in connection with Mr. Wittenschlaeger’s appointment as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wittenschlaeger was granted 450,000 shares of restricted common stock of the Company (the "Shares") as an inducement award for entering into employment with the Company. The Shares were approved by the Company’s Board of Directors and granted outside of the Company’s 2020 Long-Term Equity Incentive Plan in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). In connection with the award of Shares, Mr. Wittenschlaeger and the Company entered into a Restricted Stock Award Agreement, which agreement contemplates that the Shares shall vest in tranches of 90,000 shares upon the achievement of certain stock price, market capitalization and business milestones, along with continued service.
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