Arm and PACCAR Executives Join Luminar

Sameer Ladiwala joins as Chief Accounting Officer and Debra Poppas as Vice President, Quality

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Luminar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAZR), the global leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology, today announced the addition of two new executives to help enable its next phase of growth and execution. The company welcomed Debra Poppas as its Quality leader, previously serving as Vice President, Global Quality at the truck design and manufacturing company PACCAR, and Sameer Ladiwala as Chief Accounting Officer, having previously served as Chief Accounting Officer of the semiconductor and software design company, Arm Ltd.

“Execution is everything for Luminar as we progress towards series production to set a new automotive safety and autonomy standard,” said Luminar Founder and CEO, Austin Russell. “Debbie and Sameer are arriving at a critical time in our evolution as we look to further industrialize and mature as a public company. Debbie is known for her leadership at top automotive companies, helping them scale from early innovation to commercial success with quality products. At the same time, Sameer joins us having successfully led global, public company finance teams, and will be helping lay the financial infrastructure for us to rapidly execute, scale and deliver.”

Debra Poppas joins as Luminar’s Vice President of Quality from PACCAR, a global leader in the design and manufacture of premium trucks, where she had served as Vice President of Global Quality since 2016. Prior to PACCAR, Poppas held positions as the Senior Vice President of Global Engineering, Quality and IT at Remy International (now Borg Warner). She also held positions of increasing responsibility at Delphi Delco Electronics (now Aptiv) including General Director of Global Engineering, Quality and Program Management. She began her career as an engineer at General Motors where she spent 16 years progressing into engineering and operational leadership roles. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Poppas currently serves as a board member for the Automotive Industry Action Group.

Sameer Ladiwala joins as Luminar’s Chief Accounting Officer from Arm where he served as the Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to Arm, he served as Chief Accounting Officer and in other senior finance roles at Cypress Semiconductor, a global chip design and manufacturing company with a broad automotive product portfolio. Ladiwala began his career at public accounting firms including 12 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and India. He is a Certified Public Accountant (California, U.S.), a Chartered Accountant (India) and holds an M.B.A. from Cornell University and Queen’s University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi.

About Luminar:

Luminar Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: LAZR) is transforming automotive safety and autonomy by delivering lidar and associated software that meets the industry’s stringent performance, safety, and economic requirements. Luminar has rapidly gained over 50 industry partners, including the majority of the global automotive OEMs. In 2020, Luminar signed the industry’s first production deal for autonomous consumer vehicles with Volvo Cars, which now expects to make Luminar’s technology part of the standard safety package on their next generation electric SUV. Additional customer wins include SAIC, Daimler Truck AG, Intel’s Mobileye, and Airbus UpNext. Founded in 2012, Luminar employs approximately 400 with offices in Palo Alto, Orlando, Colorado Springs, Detroit, and Munich. For more information please visit

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Source: Luminar Technologies, Inc.