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LiDAR startup lured Tesla’s VP of Legal away with $30m compensation package

LiDAR startup Luminar Technologies, Inc. lured Tesla Vice President of Legal Alan Prescott away from the Austin-based electric vehicle leader with a massive $30 million compensation package.

Prescott left Tesla last April after just under four years to join Luminar as the company’s Chief Legal Officer. Prescott spent just one year with Ford as an engineer before leaving to pursue a law degree at Georgetown University. Prescott then returned to Ford for ten years, before leaving to join Tesla in 2017.

Tesla loses VP of Legal to LiDAR startup Luminar

The $30 million compensation package was outlined in a 10-K filing Luminar submitted with the SEC on March 1. Bloomberg Law says the bulk of Prescott’scompensation is comprised of more than $29.5 million in stock rewards over six years, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Prescott joined Luminar on April 26, and was given a new hire initial equity grant with the long-term stock incentives, the report said. Prescott’s combination of a cash salary with stock compensation “roughly matches what he had at Tesla and was necessary to bring on a lawyer with his automotive industry experience,” the report said, citing the inside source.

The 10-K states:

“On March 25, 2021, we and Mr. Prescott entered into an employment agreement, which was amended on November 11, 2021. Pursuant to this agreement, as amended, Mr. Prescott is entitled to a base salary of $300,000 per year and is eligible for a $50,000 annual bonus based on satisfactory achievement of performance goals and to participate in our employee benefit plans. Mr. Prescott’s employment is “at-will” and is terminable by either party at any time. Among other equity-based incentives in his employment agreement, Mr. Prescott was awarded 353,000 RSUs, scheduled to vest over four years from his start date, subject to his continued service on each vesting date, provided that in the event that Mr. Prescott is terminated, resigns for good cause, or we experience a change of control, he will be entitled to the immediate vesting of the remaining unvested shares of such RSU grant.”

Luminar will pay Prescott a $300,000 annual base salary with $50,000 in bonuses.

Several legal department employees within Tesla have vacated their positions in the past few years. Lynn Miller, Tesla’s former Deputy General Counsel, left the company last year to join autonomous trucking startup Plus. Additionally, Tesla lost Vice President of People Valerie Capers Workman, an HR professional, earlier this year.

LiDAR has long been criticized by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has called the technology “a fool’s errand.” “They’re all going to dump lidar,” Musk said at Tesla’s Autonomy Day in 2019. “Anyone relying on lidar is doomed.”

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LiDAR startup lured Tesla’s VP of Legal away with $30m compensation package
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