Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt announced his resignation on Monday, sending ripples through the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. The decision comes at a crucial time for the company.
Vogt’s departure marks the end of a chapter for the General Motors (GM) subsidiary. In an internal email seen by TechCrunch, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra announced the appointment of Mo Elshenawy as president and CTO of Cruise.
Meanwhile, Vogt says he’ll be spending time with his family and “exploring some new ideas.”
Cruise CEO resigns
In a tweet, Vogt explains: “Today I resigned from my position as CEO. The last 10 years have been amazing, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped Cruise along the way.
In his farewell note, Vogt reminisces about starting the company in his garage in 2013. He mentions the company’s journey in providing more than 250,000 driverless rides, and cites its influence in “shaping the future of transportation.”
He says Cruise is “still just getting started,” and he believes it has a great future ahead. Vogt says the personnel are “brilliant, driven, and resilient,” working towards an exciting product vision with a “solid, multi-year roadmap.”
“To my former colleagues – you’ve got this! Regardless of what originally brought you to work on AVs, remember why this work matters. The status quo on our roads sucks, but together we’ve proven there is something far better around the corner,” he says.
Earlier this month, the company initiated layoffs of the company’s AV workforce, starting with roles crucial to its driverless fleet operations. Vogt had warned of the impending layoffs during an all-hands meeting.
At the time, company spokesperson Tiffany Testo said the layoffs would specifically target employees responsible for charging and maintaining driverless vehicles; as well as cleaning staff and those providing customer support.
Troubling times at Cruise
Vogt’s resignation follows an incident on October 2, 2023, when a pedestrian was struck by a human-driven vehicle and propelled into the path of a Cruise AV named Panini. The driver of the Nissan Sentra fled the scene.
Cruise has been working closely with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), California Public Utilities Commission, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the accident.
The coming months will reveal how Cruise, under its new leadership, navigates these turbulent waters and continues its mission to transform transportation.
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Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.