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Luminar Attracts Former Executives From Lyft, Apple and Meta, Microsoft

Luminar (Nasdaq: LAZR), a leading global automotive technology company, today announced two new key executive hires to help guide the company through its next phase of rapid growth.

  • Dr. David Foster joins Luminar as the Executive Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Foster's extensive experience includes executive and leadership positions at Lyft, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and other innovative technology companies. Throughout his career, Dr. Foster has successfully launched groundbreaking products from concept to high volume production – including such iconic devices as the iMac, MacBook, MacPro, Kindle, and Kindle Fire. Dr. Foster holds a BA, MA, and Doctorate in Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Vision from the University of Oxford.
  • John Pinette joins Luminar as the Senior Vice President of Communications. Prior to Luminar, John led global communications at Meta. He was also Vice President for marketing and communications at Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan. John also led communications at Pershing Square Capital Management and helped guide the $20B hedge fund through the European IPO of Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. John served as head of communications at Gates Ventures where he managed Bill Gates’ executive communications and helped to launch his popular blog, The Gates Notes. Additionally, John led the Asia-Pacific communications team for Google, and held various senior communications roles at Microsoft. He holds degrees in philosophy, history and theology.

“David and John are joining Luminar at a key moment for the company as we move to production and deployment of our LiDAR technology on broadly available passenger cars. Industrializing a complex, safety-critical technology at scale in the automotive industry requires a unique skill set. It calls for a special combination of business and engineering excellence, which David has repeatedly demonstrated in prior roles. As our technology will soon be on passenger cars, John’s extensive experience in managing communications for some of the biggest brands in the world will help us educate car buyers on the benefits of LiDAR technology and Luminar’s focus on their safety,” said Austin Russell, Luminar Founder and CEO.

“I am delighted to be joining Luminar at this exciting time for the company and the industry,” said David Foster. “The products in development at Luminar will make a profoundly positive impact on the lives of motorists around the world. It is an honor to join the team in the important mission of driving this critical safety feature into every future vehicle.”

“How Luminar technology will improve driver safety is the best kind of story to tell,” said John Pinette. “This cutting-edge technology will have immediate benefits to our communities. I’m excited to be joining my new colleagues in marketing and communications to get the word out on these groundbreaking advances.”

About Luminar

Luminar is a global automotive technology company ushering in a new era of vehicle safety and autonomy. For the past decade, Luminar has built an advanced hardware and software/AI platform to enable its more than 50 industry partners, including the majority of global automotive OEMs. From consumer vehicle programs with Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz to technology partnerships including NVIDIA and Mobileye, Luminar is poised to be the first automotive technology company to enable next-generation safety and autonomous capabilities for global production vehicles. For more information please visit


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