Former Fitbit CFO to steer 4th startup in 10 years

Morgan Haefner -

Luminar Technologies, a startup that develops laser sensors for self-driving cars to measure distances, picked up a finance chief who is well-versed in jumpstarting companies: former Fitbit CFO Bill Zerella, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Zerella joined Orlando, Fla.-based Luminar earlier this month, his fourth startup in 10 years. Luminar has raised $36 million, partnered with Volvo and Toyota Motor Corp., and is beginning its transition into a "real company," said Chris McNally, a managing director at research firm Evercore ISI, a unit of Evercore. Luminar plans to increase its production to 5,000 sensors by the first quarter of 2019.

"The CEO of Luminar is 23 years old," Mr. McNally told WSJ. "They are bringing in someone who is experienced in running a larger business."

Mr. Zerella is taking on the CFO role at Luminar after almost four years with Fitbit. Under his leadership, Fitbit grew to 47,000 stores and more than 25 million users across 86 countries. The company's initial public offering raised $732 million in 2015 under Mr. Zerella's watch.

Prior to Fitbit, Mr. Zerella helped voice-controlled patient communication product-maker Vocera Communications raise $140 million in 2012. He was also CFO of Force10 Networks, a networking company that was purchased by Dell in 2011, according to WSJ.

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