Luminar Technologies Inc. is staffing up key positions, including chief financial officer, as it prepares to begin shipping its self-driving sensor platform in the coming year.
The CFO hired by the Palo Alto-based company is Tom Fennimore, who was previously global head of automotive at both Goldman Sachs and at Jefferies Group LLC. Over the past 23 years he has managed IPOs, financings and M&A deals for the likes of Tesla Inc., Mobileye, GM, Fiat Chrysler and many others.
His hiring comes about a month after Luminar said it is partnering with Volvo Cars to bring self-driving capabilities to a new line of cars the automaker plans to introduce in 2022.
Fennimore will be based in Luminar’s Palo Alto headquarters, where the company has 92 of its 350 employees. It also named a new board member and new executives in its locations in Detroit, Orlando and Israel.
Matthew Simoncini, the former president, CEO,and director at Lear Corp. joins Luminar’s board of directors.
Marc Losewitz and Aaron Jefferson, former ZF Group executives in advanced driver assist systems, join Luminar in Detroit as vice president of automotive business development and vice president of product, respectively.
Jason Rudd, who served for 11 years at Mobileye as senior director of original equipment manufacturer and Tier1 sales, will be based in Israel and driving Luminar’s European business presence and programs.
Lonnie Bernardoni will be based in Luminar’s manufacturing location in Orlando as vice president, supply chain, to ramp up the company’s production of its Iris sensing technology for 2022 series production. he was previously vice president of supply chain and operations at Magic Leap.
“We’ve been rapidly evolving from a tech development company working with R&D programs to now the first company enabling autonomy in automotive series production,” Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell said in the announcement of the new hires. “This enables us to attract the top leaders across the industry as we establish a greater presence in automotive and focus on rapid execution and scale.”
Luminar is one of the most highly valued startups developing lidar for self-driving vehicles, figured to be worth about $900 million after raising funds last summer, according to PitchBook Data. As part of the deal announced this month, Volvo Cars also signed an agreement to possibly increase its minority stake in Luminar.