AI software developer picks ex-Lenovo exec as chief legal officer

Cerence Inc., a developer of artificial intelligence software for automobiles, has named Jennifer Salinas as senior vice president and general counsel.

Salinas succeeds Leanne Fitzgerald, who resigned in February “to seize another opportunity,” according to a company 8-K filing.

According to the filing, Fitzgerald informed Cerence that his decision to resign did not involve any disagreement with the company. She has reached an agreement with the company to provide transitional assistance until September.

Salinas brings to Cerence experience in a wide range of areas, including mergers and acquisitions, litigation, intellectual property, labor and employment, corporate governance, regulation and compliance.

She most recently served as general counsel for the Infrastructure Solutions group, which provides engineering design and construction management. She was previously global head of litigation at IT company Lenovo. Prior to Lenovo, Salinas was a partner at Troutman Sanders, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth.

“As a lawyer by training, but a strategist at heart, I look forward to immersing myself in the company and its products, understanding the markets and ultimately helping to refine our strategy to grow and win,” Salinas said in a statement.

Cerence, based in Burlington, Mass., was part of Nuance Communications until 2019, when Nuance spun it into an independent public company. Cerence has approximately 1,300 employees and annual sales of $387 million.