Women are taking more and more automotive leadership positions—something previously barred to them by yesteryear’s social conformities. Mary L. Petrovich, with more than 30 years of business acumen industry knowledge, joins the ranks of only a handful of women to achieve top positions in the automotive sector.  

“I am pleased to join the Nikola Board of Directors,” said Petrovich. “I believe in the company’s mission that combines zero-emission commercial trucking with an innovative energy infrastructure. This company has a great future ahead.  I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and management to meet Nikola’s milestones while creating shareholder value.”

Petrovich makes the move from AxleTech, where she was executive chairman and shaped the electric vehicle (EV) strategy for commercial vehicles, such as buses and trucks. She was also the president of Dura Automotive’s driver control unit, as well as a former of AlliedSignal, Chrysler, and General Motors (GM). She is still on the board of two private companies: DealerShop (North America’s largest buying group for dealerships and auto centers) and Traxen (a safe driving and fuel efficiency software program for heavy trucking). Hopefully, given Nikola Motors many controversies, Petrovich can bring the beleaguered company around. 

“Mary will be a real asset to Nikola’s board,” said Steve Girsky, chairman of Nikola’s Board of Directors. “Her transformative experience in automotive, and trucking specifically, parallels nicely with Nikola’s needs. We are confident that Mary’s valuable perspective and insights will help the Board and management team execute on its strategic and business priorities.”

The first woman promoted to a top leadership was Mary Barra, CEO of GM, in 2018. Elena Ford—yes, the great-great-granddaughter of that Ford—currently holds the position of Vice President of Ford, as of 2013. Linda Hasenfratz is the CEO of Linamar Corporation, one of the largest auto-parts manufacturers in Canada. Hasenfratz was named 2014 EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year—a first for any woman.

Petrovich will be overseeing a $2B zero-emissions trucking company and, while not a first, it’s important to celebrate these victories—empowering more women to break the glass ceiling in formerly-male-only industries. Please visit Nikola Corp.’s website for more information about Petrovich’s appointment or their upcoming EVs.