FitBit’s Former Legal Chief Lands New Role at Air Taxi Startup

FitBit’s Former Legal Chief Lands New Role at Air Taxi Startup

Archer Aviation Inc., an electrical plane startup seeking to carry flying taxis to market by 2024, introduced Monday its rent of chief authorized officer Andrew Missan.

Missan, previously the highest lawyer at FitBit Inc., joins Archer six months after the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm announced plans to go public by merging with Atlas Crest Investment Corp., a particular function acquisition firm.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. agreed to purchase as much as 200 of Archer’s small flying taxis as a part of the deal. The settlement, valued at roughly $1 billion, got here as Archer introduced in mid-February its $3.8 billion tie-up with New York-based Atlas.

Archer’s prototype electrical takeoff and touchdown automobile, known as Maker, could have a 60-mile vary and fly at roughly 150 miles per hour, according to Bloomberg News.

Cooley is advising Archer on its merger with Atlas, whereas the latter has turned to Kirkland & Ellis for counsel on the transaction. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that the deadline for the deal’s closing had been prolonged till October amid an ongoing commerce secrets and techniques dispute between Archer and rival Wisk Aero LLC.

“It’s an exhilarating alternative to hitch Archer and proceed to develop the authorized perform for a group that’s creating such a transformational product and defining a brand new business,” Missan stated in an announcement.

Missan’s transfer comes after he spent eight-plus years at FitBit, where he guided the wearable health know-how firm by a $732 million initial public offering in 2015 and a prolonged patent litigation battle with now-defunct rival Jawbone. FitBit ultimately prevailed in its trade secrets war with Jawbone.

Archer, Missan’s new employer, famous its new authorized chief’s monitor report in serving to information FitBit “by complicated authorized challenges throughout an amazing interval of development” that took it from a personal to public firm.

In late 2019, Alphabet Inc.’s Google agreed to buy FitBit for $2.1 billion in money. Google completed its acquisition of San Francisco-based FitBit this previous January after a chronic regulatory evaluation within the U.S. and different jurisdictions.

Missan obtained almost $1.6 million in whole compensation from FitBit in 2019, in response to the most recent proxy statement filed by the corporate.

Prior to FitBit, Archer stated Missan constructed company legislation departments at startup corporations like Bytemobile Inc., MobiTV Inc., and Danger Inc.

Bytemobile, a cellular video optimization specialist, was bought to Citrix Systems Inc. in 2012. Microsoft Corp. bought Danger, a software company, in 2008. MobiTV’s belongings had been sold out of bankruptcy court this yr to TiVo Corp.

Bloomberg Law reported earlier this yr on Molly Abraham, basic counsel at Kitty Hawk Inc., leaving the flying automotive startup to develop into an affiliate basic counsel for business at cryptocurrency trade Coinbase Global Inc.

Kitty Hawk, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, elevated Abraham’s former deputy, Angela Gandhi, to succeed her as head of authorized. Kitty Hawk additionally employed Madison Jellins, a former Alston & Bird companion who has labored in-house at Apple Inc. and Coherus Biosciences Inc., to be its interim head of authorized in June.

Gandhi is now on maternity go away, in response to a bounce-back message from her Kitty Hawk e-mail handle. Gandhi, Jellins, and Kitty Hawk didn’t reply to requests for remark concerning the firm’s in-house authorized group.

Joby Aviation LLC, another flying taxi startup that took over Uber Technologies Inc.’s flying automotive unit because it went public this month through a SPAC merger, additionally plans to debut its commercial fleet by 2024. Former Uber attorneys Kate DeHoff and Audrey Lin grew to become basic counsel and deputy basic counsel, respectively, for Joby earlier this yr.

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