A New Chapter, A Continued Mission: Introducing Our Head of Investor Relations, Henry Kwon
Through my career in finance, I recognized that the most successful companies were those with a great team, differentiated proprietary technologies, and the ability to address a large and growing market. Xos has all three of these elements, which is why I’m so excited to work here and serve as Chief Financial Officer as we go public. Nasdaq has long been a natural home for companies that combine disruptive technology with a clear route to revenue growth.
This new chapter comes with responsibilities regarding financial reporting, controls, and working with our broader group of public shareholders. At Xos, we can’t build great trucks without great people working behind the scenes. So, we’ve taken the time to source incredible talent in key positions who offer relevant experience and exceptional leadership skills.
On the topic of incredible talent, I’m pleased to introduce Henry Kwon as our Head of Investor Relations here at Xos.
Meet Henry Kwon
Henry brings more than 25 years of financial experience to the team. He spent 18 of those years as a sell-side analyst covering the Asian automotive industry. Over the course of his career, Henry saw first-hand the growth of Japan and Korea as global intellectual property centers and watched China become the largest end market.
Henry’s familiarity with EVs broadened from his experience with Korea, a critical presence in the EV industry. Korea is a major EV powertrain development center for U.S. automotive OEMs, and Korean OEMs have a sizeable manufacturing and distribution presence in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Career Background and Highlights
Henry’s journey in equity research has always drawn him to companies focused on the customer. For example, Henry was fascinated by Henry Ford’s direct distribution strategy for the Model-T more so than the assembly line narrative that gets the most spotlight.
At a time when there were no dealerships, Ford’s sales force went throughout the country to convince anxious customers of the automobile’s superiority over the horse-drawn buggy and how it could improve the American quality of life.
Likewise, Henry saw history repeat itself when Hyundai Motor Group’s journey to become the third-largest automaker in the world began not in the U.S. but in India and Europe. Following its first disastrous foray into the U.S. market in the late 1980s, Hyundai learned to localize its product strategy in India in the 1990s, where it continues to command a dominant presence.
Hyundai refined this approach in Europe in the first decade of the 21st century on a level playing field where Japanese brands did not command a high brand premium. At the same time, incumbent European OEMs such as Peugeot, Fiat, and Renault were complacent in their established market positions.
Hyundai studied the European consumer and offered features that European consumers would find appealing. The move resulted in the deterioration of incumbent European brands’ market share in the B-C segments (aka subcompact and compact segments in the U.S.) and the rise of Korean brands there.
The Next Step: EVs and Clean Energy
Henry saw a striking similarity between Ford’s direct distribution strategy and Tesla’s direct distribution strategy in the EV space. Tesla recognized early on that the modern dealership system was optimized for selling and servicing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, not EVs.
Henry told me that when he first came across Xos, he was not drawn by the technological platform per se but rather what Xos technology platform sought to provide for its fleet customers. He was drawn to Xos’ mission to provide a technology platform for our customers that aligns with their sustainability goals and climate change mitigation efforts while delivering total cost of ownership savings.
A New Start at Xos
With his broad understanding of the automotive industry and financial markets, Henry is ideal for Xos. Henry saw the transformational potential of the commercial vehicle space twenty years ago during the transition from diesel to natural gas in many parts of Asia. Now, he’s ready for another significant change: electric vehicles.
Henry looks forward to being part of the clean energy movement: “At Xos, we will be able to bring about amazing changes to the last mile commercial truck space, and this is a great start to a greener future.”
As for Henry’s motivations, his own words deliver the most precise message: “I have two beautiful daughters, and I want them to have a clean future.” We’re honored and excited to welcome Henry Kwon as part of the Xos finance team and look forward to watching the impact of his insights and leadership.