Tony Aquila

Investor, Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Tony Aquila is an American businessman, investor, serial entrepreneur, and inventor associated with 100+ patents in the automotive, aeronautics and cybersecurity sectors.

Growing up on the fringes of Silicon Valley with a mathematical and entrepreneurial mind, Tony founded in his garage, grew, and sold several technology start-ups during the dot-com years, ultimately founding Solera in 2005. Solera is an automotive technology company, that Tony founded with GTCR as his capital partner. Under his leadership as Founder, Chairman and CEO, the company went public through a $1 billion initial public offering in 2007 and private again in 2016, at a valuation of $6.5 billion. Significantly growing the total addressable market by executing over 50 acquisitions during his tenure, it employed 7,000 people in more than 90 countries.

In 2019, based on his proven track record of 70+ transactions with $15bn+ in aggregate value and an industry leading return profile, Tony founded AFV Partners LLC, a long-term sustainable capital vehicle that invests globally in assets that contribute to a net positive impact on the environment.

Canoo is currently one of AFV’s significant investments. Tony initially agreed to provide rescue capital to the company in July 2020. This was followed by his participation in the PIPE. His investments in Canoo were based on his assessment of the company’s competitive advantage: its industry unique focus on proprietary engineering and technology. In preparations for the SPAC merger, Tony was asked to join the board and, effective with the completion of the merger and de-SPAC with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV in December 2020, became its Chairman. In April 2021, in the midst of maturing pains as a public company and the increased market scrutiny of SPAC businesses, particularly in the EV space, Tony accepted the CEO position, based on his deep belief in the design and engineering team, to accelerate the transformation of the business to set it apart from the herd. Since that time, Canoo expanded the executive team, announced three new vehicle trims, a Phase 1 advanced industrialization facility and established a landmark partnership for a Phase 2 owned mega-micro manufacturing facility on tribal land in Pryor, Oklahoma. Under Tony’s leadership the business grew to more than 700 engineers across five locations. He and his team are committed to their mission to bring EVs to everyone.

As part of the re-founding, Tony and the team have a “relentless and uncompromising” approach to innovation and are set to bring sustainable and purpose driven EVs to the hard-working people of the heartlands and beyond. He has a disciplined approach to “thinking differently” and he’s deeply rooted in his reverence for nature, affordable mobility for everyone, and helping businesses and teams succeed to make a lasting difference in the world.

On February 22, 2022, Tony was appointed by Governor Hutchinson to the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, which includes representatives from Walmart, J.B. Hunt, the Arkansas Trucking and Auto Dealers Associations, the University of Arkansas and Southern Arkansas University Tech, and several state agencies, among others. The Council on Future Mobility has a goal to capitalize on advancements in mobility and further cement Arkansas as a national and global leader in the sector.

Greg Ethridge

Chief Financial Officer

Ethridge has deep experience in capital markets and finance over his career having previously served as president, chief operating officer and a director of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corporation IV, V and VI. He also held director or executive positions at Motorsports Aftermarket Group, MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC, FXI Holdings Inc., Gleacher and Company, Imperial Capital LLC, Jefferies and Company, Inc., as well as other boards and investment firms.

Hector Ruiz

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Hector has served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since April 2021 and as Vice President, Global Strategy, Tax Counsel & Treasury from January 2021 to April 2021. He has an extensive background in legal and tax matters, including previous experience at Solera Holdings, Inc., Caris Life Sciences and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Ramesh Murthy

Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer

Ramesh is an experienced accounting and audit expert. He joined Canoo Inc. from Ernst & Young LLP where he served as Managing Director with practice areas in technology, software, and manufacturing with a focus on publicly traded companies.

Sohel Merchant

Chief Technology Officer

Sohel Merchant has been in the automotive industry for 20 years, 11 of which have been with electric vehicle startups. Sohel started his career at Ford Motor Company, working on the Mustang as well as Ford Focus Fuel Cell. Later he was part of the team that engineered the Tesla Model S and Model X. He is a founding team member at Canoo. Sohel has an in-depth understanding of complete vehicle engineering and a passion for changing the way we view mobility. 

Kunal Bhalla

Senior Vice President, Capital Markets, Corporate Development and Purchasing

Kunal began serving in his current role in September 2021 after joining Canoo Inc. in November 2020 as Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to Canoo Inc., he was a Director in Rothschild’s Investment Banking leading the automotive technology practice. Prior to Rothschild, he spent 7 years at Lear Corporation, most recently as a Program Manager in the Seating Division focused on General Motors products.

Michael Carter

Chief People Officer

Carter has more than two decades of human resources leadership experience from Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley technology companies, including Cisco, Intel, and Qualcomm. Prior to joining Canoo, Carter was vice president of people at Lucid Group, Inc. where he was responsible for bringing together software and automotive talent with HR strategies and initiatives. Before that, he was VP of human resources at Samsung Electronics.