Luminar Technologies jumps 21% after it hires Tesla’s general counsel as chief legal officer

by Ryan

Luminar Palo Alto Data Collection
Luminar Palo Alto Data Collection

Shares of Luminar Technologies soared as much as 21% on Wednesday after it hired Alan Prescott, the former general counsel of Tesla, as its chief legal officer.

Alan Prescott will join Luminar directly from Tesla, and will be responsible for directing all legal operations at the company. Prior to Tesla, Prescott let Uber’s Advanced Technology legal team.

Having a strong legal team will be essential at self-driving startup companies, especially given that car crashes that have occurred while self-driving technology was in use have attracted intense scrutiny.

A Tesla car crash earlier this week is thought to have occurred with the company’s self-driving autopilot technology engaged, as authorities said it appeared neither of the two passengers were driving the car at the time of the deadly crash.

But Tesla’s Elon Musk refuted those claims on Twitter, saying that the company’s data logs show the car’s Autopilot technology was not turned on.

Despite Wednesday’s surge in Luminar, the company is still down 38% year-to-date. The company went public via a SPAC merger late last year, but that trend has cooled down in April as investors take a harder look at the companies going public via “blank-check” mergers.

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