ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Luminar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAZR), the global leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology, today announced the addition of four industry leaders to help enable its next phase of growth and execution. They bring a combined century of professional experience in the automotive and technology industries.
“We’re hyper focused on taking Luminar to the next level in this new phase of growth and execution. Each of our new leaders are at the top of their respective fields in the industry, and will be relentlessly driving Luminar towards series production as the new automotive safety and autonomy standard,” said Luminar Founder and CEO, Austin Russell.
Sardar Gautham joined Luminar to lead business operations and alignment, having most recently served as VP of Strategy and Execution at Waymo. Munir Hafez joins Luminar as Chief Information Officer (CIO), after serving as CIO at Aptiv for their autonomous mobility group. Cheryl Zula joined Luminar to lead sourcing and supply chain after serving as a global supply chain and purchasing executive at Stellantis. Alex Vitale joined Luminar to lead corporate development and strategy, having previously served as a managing director and head of San Francisco for GCA, a boutique investment banking firm.
Sardar Gautham, Vice President of Business Operations and Alignment: In this role, Sardar will help Luminar scale by driving cross-functional alignment and execution at velocity while also furthering a growth culture. Prior to Luminar, he served as head of hardware strategy & execution at Waymo, Google’s autonomous driving technology company. He has successfully scaled three startup companies, and brings two decades of experience in the technical, program and functional management of breakthrough technology products. Before Waymo, he was the vice president of the program management office at Verb Surgical Inc., a medical device joint venture between J&J and Google. Before that, he served in executive roles at GE Healthcare. Gautham holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Madras and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Iowa.
Munir Hafez, Chief Information Officer: Munir was appointed Luminar’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) after serving as CIO for the autonomous mobility group at Aptiv, a global automotive technology company. Prior to that, he served two years as vice president of strategy and architecture at Aptiv, helping drive data analytics, enterprise architecture, innovation, vendor management and M&A globally. Before Aptiv, he held IT strategy roles at EY, Deloitte and PwC. Munir holds an M.S. in Engineering Management and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Cheryl Zula, Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Materials: Cheryl joins Luminar from Stellantis where she served as vice president of electronics, global purchasing overseeing billions of dollars and hundreds of supplier relationships for the global automaker. She brings three decades of automotive profit and loss experience in purchasing, supply chain, materials management, program management and manufacturing at OEM and tier one companies. Prior to Stellantis, she served in executive supply chain roles at ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a global supplier of systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. She began her career at Ford Motor Company. She holds an M.B.A. in Operations Management from Lawrence Technical University and a B.S. in Business Administration with an Industrial Engineering Focus from Wayne State University.
Alex Vitale, Head of Corporate Development & Strategy: Alex joins Luminar to lead corporate development and corporate strategy for the business. In this role, Vitale will focus on shaping and advancing Luminar’s long-term roadmap and growth through M&A and other strategic initiatives. Prior to joining Luminar, he spent eight years at global investment bank GCA Advisors where he served as a Managing Director and as a member of the Executive Committee, providing strategic and financing advice to clients in the auto-tech and electronics sectors on a broad range of transactions. He was an advisor to Luminar for three years while at GCA. Prior to GCA, he served as a managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities. Alex holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a B.A. in Economics from Williams College.
Luminar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAZR) is transforming automotive safety and autonomy by delivering lidar and associated software that meets the industry’s stringent performance, safety, and economic requirements. Luminar has rapidly gained over 50 industry partners, including the majority of the global automotive OEMs. In 2020, Luminar signed the industry’s first production deal for autonomous consumer vehicles with Volvo Cars, which now expects to make Luminar’s technology part of the standard safety package on their next generation electric SUV. Additional customer wins include SAIC, Daimler Truck AG, Intel’s Mobileye, Pony.ai and Airbus UpNext. Founded in 2012, Luminar employs approximately 400 with offices in Palo Alto, Orlando, Colorado Springs, Detroit, and Munich. For more information please visit www.luminartech.com.