A more measured tone
While the "optics of the resignation are terrible," the outcome is in the best interest of Nikola, wrote Jeffrey Osborne in a research note for Cowen.
"As the company's missteps in their first earnings call showed and Mr. Milton's vocal use of Twitter and Instagram to battle his critics have shown, there were some elements of being a public company that in our view the company and some members of management were not prepared for," Osborne said.
He said that with Girsky chairing the board and Mark Russell as Nikola's CEO and Kim Brady as its CFO, the communications and "narrative from management will set a more measured and less promotional tone with investors."
That will be critical, said Schiffer, because, "Without the right communication strategy investors will bolt and Nikola's stock could collapse faster than the speed of light."
So now it is on Girsky, who helped put together the deal with GM, to repair the damage to Nikola, and fast.
"Girsky needs to establish at least one, and preferably multiple, verified accomplishments for Nikola as soon as possible," Brauer said. "Until he does, the company's value and capabilities will be in question. This skepticism now goes beyond Nikola, impacting GM's reputation as well."
Girsky's media team is not making him available for interviews.
The deal is set to close in less than a week and GM is not backing off of it. CEO Mary Barra has told Wall Street GM did its thorough due diligence and will proceed.