US-based Lucid Motors poaches execs from Waymo, Intel ahead of IPO

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed American automotive company Lucid Motors which specializes in electric cars, is strengthening its executive and technical leadership team by hiring people from Google’s self driving car project Waymo, tech companies Intel and Xperi. 

As it prepares to become a publicly listed company, the automaker announced that Sherry House, who formerly worked at Waymo, will be its new chief financial officer. Ms. House was at Waymo for four years, most recently as treasurer and head of investor relations. Prior to Waymo, she was vice president of corporate development at Visteon Corporation and managing director of technology, media and telecom at Deloitte Corporate Finance.

The electric vehicle automaker has also named Margaret Burgraff, who previously held positions at Apple and Intel, as vice president of software validation, Sanjay Chandra as vice president of Information Technology, and Jeff Curry as vice president of marketing and communications.

Ms. Burgraff most recently served as vice president of global developer relations at Intel, where she was responsible for co-engineering and enabling global independent software vendors to work with Intel’s product portfolio. She was also a partner at Continuous Ventures, a global venture capital and private equity firm that primarily supports tech startups.

Mr. Chandra left his position as chief information officer and head of cloud of operations at Xperi to join Lucid. He also worked at PayPal, Virgin Mobile and Workday. Mr. Curry most recently held a chief marketing level position at the Jaguar brand and had stints at Ferrari and Audi.

Becoming a public traded company

The new hires comes just weeks before Lucid’s merger with special acquisition company Churchill Capital IV is expected to close, which officially makes it a publicly traded company. The combined company, in which Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund will continue to be the largest shareholder, will have a transaction equity value of $11.75 billion.

The public listing will provide Lucid the capital it needs to begin production of its first all-electric vehicle, the luxury Lucid Air. The company had originally intended to start production and the first deliveries in this spring, but pushed the date to the second half of the year. The Air will first come to North America, followed by Europe in 2022 and China in 2023.

Lucid is also aiming to bring a second vehicle, this time a performance luxury SUV called Gravity, to market in North America in 2023. The vehicles will be produced at its new factory in Arizona, US. The initial phase of the $700 million factory was completed late last year and will have the capacity to produce 30,000 vehicles a year. Eventually, Lucid plans to expand the factory over another three phases to reach a production capacity of 365,000 units per year.

Related: PIF-backed Lucid Motors to launch Tesla’s model 3 rival by 2025