Kyle Vogt, the CEO and co-founder of Cruise, an autonomous vehicle venture under General Motors, resigned from his position on Sunday. The role of president and CTO for Cruise will now be assumed by Mo Elshenawy, who previously held the position of Executive Vice President of engineering at the company.
General Motors acquired Cruise in 2016 and subsequently attracted investments from companies like Honda Motor, Softbank Vision Fund, Walmart, and Microsoft. However, last year, GM bought back SoftBank’s equity stake for $2.1 billion.
Despite hopes by GM executives, including CEO and Chair Mary Barra, for Cruise to expand a driverless transportation network, recent financial reports indicate significant losses for GM due to Cruise operations.
Barra, also the chair of Cruise’s board of directors, appointed Jon McNeill, a former executive at Tesla and Lyft and a member of GM’s board since 2022, as vice chairman of Cruise’s board following Vogt’s departure.
Vogt’s resignation occurred approximately two years after he reassumed the CEO position, succeeding Dan Ammann, a former GM executive, who unexpectedly left the company in December 2021.
Vogt himself confirmed his departure on Sunday night through a post on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). In his announcement, he didn’t specify the reason for leaving but mentioned plans to spend time with family and explore new ideas.
He expressed confidence in Cruise’s future despite his exit, stating, “Cruise is still just getting started, and I believe it has a great future ahead. The folks at Cruise are brilliant, driven, and resilient. They’re executing on a solid, multi-year roadmap and an exciting product vision. I’m thrilled to see what Cruise has in store next.”
Vogt’s resignation follows a series of setbacks for Cruise. The company recently recalled 950 of its autonomous vehicles and halted all vehicle operations on public roads after a sequence of incidents that drew criticism from various quarters, including first responders, labor activists, and local officials, particularly in San Francisco.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting an investigation to assess whether Cruise’s automated driving systems demonstrated appropriate caution around pedestrians in the aforementioned incident.
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