Robocar start-up Glydways hires former Electronic Arts lawyer as first legal chief

JoAnn Covington most recently served as CLO at electric bus-maker Proterra

A single Glydcar can transport up to four passengers Photo courtesy of Glydways

US robocar start-up Glydways has hired veteran tech lawyer JoAnn Covington as its first chief legal officer.

Covington’s most recent legal role was at defunct electric bus-maker Proterra, where she was also CLO. She will oversee all legal matters at Glydways. Her appointment was first reported by Bloomberg.  

San Francisco-based Glydways is seeking to build a network of driverless electronic vehicles that operate on tracks, and is backed by investors including OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Glydways claims it will be able to transport up to 10,000 passengers an hour on its urban transit networks.

Covington confirmed her appointment on LinkedIn, adding that Glydways is “revolutionising urban mobility” and she is “excited to join this inspiring team”.

Covington spent six years at Proterra as CLO and head of government relations, before stepping down in March last year, staying on briefly as an advisor ahead of the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. She also spent three months after that serving as advisor to the CEO at US battery-maker Sparkz.

Prior to her time at Proterra, Covington was general counsel and chief privacy officer at legacy ad tech business Rocket Fuel for almost five years. She previously spent close to 14 years at video games giant Electronic Arts (EA), four of them as division counsel for its Maxis Label unit, almost five as senior counsel for EA’s intellectual property policy and practice, and almost five as senior legal counsel for licensing and IP.

She originally joined EA as senior legal counsel for litigation back in 1998, her first in-house role. She started her legal career as an associate at Fenwick & West, where she spent five years.

Last October, Glydways raised $56m in a Series B funding round, including investment from New Science Ventures, The ACS Group, Gates Frontier and original backer Khosla Ventures. The round took its total fund raising to more than $70m.

In other EV-related in-house moves, last month EV battery-maker Lyten lost its legal chief Brian Martin to US cloud business Nutanix, while in February, Tesla rival and luxury EV-maker Lucid hired former Mercedes-Benz lawyer Matt Everitt as GC, replacing former Tesla lawyer Jonathan Butler.

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