Tesla’s vice president of legal moves to LiDAR maker Luminar

After being Tesla’s vice president of legal and acting general counsel for almost four years, Al Prescott has announced he is leaving the automaker to join LiDAR start-up Luminar.

In a statement to CNBC, Prescott said the reason for his move away from Tesla is because he believes LiDAR will be a leading technology in an autonomous future.

“Luminar has pioneered safety-critical technology that will power our autonomous future. As someone who’s dedicated my career to automotive safety and innovation, I’m looking forward to helping drive Luminar to the next level and fulfill the mission to make transportation safer for everyone.”

Prescott’s new role will see him as Luminar’s chief legal officer.

Both the job change and the statement are a bit surprising considering Tesla and CEO Elon Musk’s viewpoint on LiDAR. Musk hasn’t been shy to voice his opinion on the technology over the years, saying previously called it a fool’s errand and that anyone relying on it would be doomed to failure.

Tesla has not commented on the departure, or announced who will be Prescott’s replacement.

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