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.
President and Director
Josette joined the board on December 21, 2020 and became President of Canoo Inc. Inc. on July 26, 2021. She is an international leader, decorated diplomat, humanitarian and has led negotiations on trade, intellectual property, supply chains, technology, labor and the environment across the world. As head of the World Food Program, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020, she led the world's biggest humanitarian supply chains, with more than 15,000 staff and logistics serving more than 90 nations faced with disasters and wars. She has raised financial support for public and private partnerships worth more than $1b bringing innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Since February 2021 she has served as the Executive Chair of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Previously, Josette served as Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum; UN Special Envoy, leading a successful effort to end a cholera epidemic in Haiti; Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program; United States Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs under President George W. Bush; Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and Ambassador covering Asia, Africa, labor, environment, intellectual property, and trade capacity building. She also served as the President and CEO of the Asia Society, a global non-profit focused on policy, sustainability, conflict resolution, culture, and education and as a fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. In 2011, she was recognized by Forbes as the 30th most powerful woman in the world.
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, Interim Chief Financial 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.
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.
Chief Technology Officer
Senior Vice President of Global Customer Journey & Aftersales
An experienced automotive leader, Christian joined Canoo Inc. Inc. from Mercedes-Benz AG where he served as Vice President of Customer Service in the USA and held senior management roles in the global Mercedes-Benz organization. He also served as a Member of the Supervisory Board of Mercedes-Benz Insurance AG from 2015 – 2019. He brings more than two decades of experience scaling automotive value chain on retail, wholesale and OEM level for sales, service and parts, and fleet sales.
Senior Vice President of Corporate Development
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.
Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Capital Markets
Nick has 15 years of experience as an investment banker, advising companies and private equity firms on equity and equity-linked transactions, spin-offs, SPACs, de-SPACs and M&A transactions. Prior to joining Canoo, Nick was a Managing Director in the Equity Capital Markets group at Barclays. He joined Lehman Brothers in January 2007 as an Analyst based in Menlo Park, CA. Nick joined Barclays in 2008 and relocated to New York in 2010. Over the course of his career, Nick has advised companies across several industries including financial services, gaming, industrials, real estate and technology. He has completed over 250 bookrun equity and equity-linked transactions raising in aggregate over $100 billion in proceeds. He holds a BA in Business Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.