Edward T. Hightower

Edward T. Hightower

MBA '95
CEO & President,
Lordstown Motors Corporation
Career Background

Edward Hightower is the Chief Executive Officer & President of Lordstown Motors Corp., an original equipment manufacturer of electric vehicles for the commercial fleet market. In 2022, he co-led the turnaround of the company, implementation of a new asset-light business model, and launch of its first vehicle – the Endurance battery electric full-size pickup truck. In doing so, over 700 jobs were saved, and Endurance was selected as a finalist for 2023 North American Truck of the Year. Of all the new electric car companies, Lordstown is one of the very few to have successfully launched and delivered vehicles to customers. Crain’s Automotive News magazine recognized Hightower as the first African American CEO of a publicly traded US automaker.

Previously, Hightower served in several new-product development, engineering, strategy, brand marketing, and senior executive roles between Ford, BMW, and GM, including leading GM’s $15 billion global crossovers business as the executive chief engineer and vehicle line executive. He also worked as a hands-on growth, strategy, and operations improvement consultant at AlixPartners, LLP and Motoring Ventures LLC, which Hightower founded. He has extensive experience in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Along with Lordstown, Hightower served on the boards of directors of Tritium Charging of Australia (Nasdaq: DCFC), Tempel Steel, and HEVO Power; and served as an advisor to Kiira Motors, a Uganda, East Africa based manufacturer of electric city buses.

Hightower authored the book Motoring Africa: Sustainable Automotive Industrialization, published in 2018. Based on his industry experiences in China, India, South Korea, Mexico and Brazil, Motoring Africa makes the case and offers an actionable roadmap for economic development by building sustainable automotive manufacturing businesses in six of the 54 countries in Africa. Hightower had the honor of presenting Motoring Africa at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during its 2019 Industrialization Week.

Originally from Chicago, Hightower earned a BS in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He serves on the Ross School Advisory Board, Sanger Leadership Center Advisory Board, and chaired the Ross Alumni Board of Governors. He is a lifetime member of both Kappa Alpha Psi and the Council on Foreign Relations. An Eagle Scout, he previously served on the executive board of the Michigan Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is a 2019 recipient of the National Outstanding Eagle Scout award. Hightower is a 5th degree Black Belt and certified sensei instructor of Isshinryu karate. He and his family live in metro Detroit, Michigan, USA.