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Electric-Car Startup Lucid Hires Waymo Veteran as Finance Chief

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 5/5/2021 Ed Ludlow
a close up of a cell phone: Electric-Car Startup Lucid Hires Waymo Veteran as Finance Chief © Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images Electric-Car Startup Lucid Hires Waymo Veteran as Finance Chief

(Bloomberg) --

Lucid Motors Inc., the Saudi Arabia-backed electric-vehicle maker going public via a reverse merger, has hired a former executive of Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo as its chief financial officer.

Sherry House, who was treasurer and head of investor relations at the Google parent’s prized self-driving arm, starts in her new role at Lucid this week. House will focus on Lucid’s listing later in the year and expanding the business. Michael Smuts, a former Ford Motor Co. finance executive, will continue in the role of vice president of finance.

“We are delighted to have Sherry join us. Her rare combination of financial and technical experience bolsters our core leadership team in a pivotal year for Lucid as we prepare to transition to a publicly traded company and launch the Lucid Air,” Lucid Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson said in a statement.

Newark, California-based Lucid is one of a wave of EV startups that have chosen to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, in the hopes of fast-tracking a challenge to market incumbent Tesla Inc. The company is due to start production in the second half of the year on the Air, a $169,000 electric sedan that’s capable of driving more than 500 miles on a single charge. The company has grown to more than 2,500 employees and is closely followed, partly because Rawlinson was previously chief engineer on Tesla’s Model S.

Read more: Lucid Production Timeline Delayed by SPAC’s Quality Concerns

House’s hiring also comes at a crucial time of change for Waymo, regarded as a leader in autonomous-car development. In April, John Krafcik stepped down as CEO. He was replaced by Tekedra Mawakana, Waymo’s chief operating officer, and Dmitri Dolgov, chief technical officer, who were named co-CEOs.

Read more: Waymo’s New CEOs Say Self-Driving Unit Eyes Outside Funding

In February, Lucid agreed to merge with blank-check company Churchill Capital Corp IV. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and generate $4.4 billion in cash for Lucid. The deal represents the largest injection of capital into Lucid since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund invested more than $1 billion in 2018.

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