Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt resigns | TechCrunch

Kyle Vogt is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded and led Cruise from a startup in a garage to what it is today get An email to employees on Sunday night seen by TechCrunch revealed that GM’s ownership stakes have been named.

In a separate internal email also seen by TechCrunch, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra announced that Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s executive vice president of engineering, will serve as Cruise’s president and chief technology officer.Executive Vice President, Legal and Policy recently appointed to Cruise CEO Jon McNeill will continue in the role. General Motors board member Jon McNeill has been named vice chairman of Cruise’s board of directors. McNeil recently joined Cruise’s board of directors and previously served as chief operating officer of Lyft and Lyft. The Tesla president will now serve alongside Cruise board chair Mary Barra. A statement from a Cruise spokesperson confirmed Barra’s email.

As of Sunday, no one had been named chief executive.

The executive shakeup comes less than a month after the California Department of Motor Vehicles Cruise ship license suspended Operating autonomous vehicles on public roads October 2nd Incident A pedestrian was initially struck by a human-driven car, landed in the path of a Cruise robotaxi, and was subsequently dragged 20 feet by the AV. A day after the incident, TechCrunch viewed a video showing the robot taxi slamming on its brakes and landing on top of the girl. The DMV’s suspension order said Cruise withheld about seven seconds of video footage that showed the robotaxi then dragging the woman 20 feet as it tried to pull over.

Vogt’s email to all employees, reviewed by TechCrunch, reads:

I have resigned as CEO of Cruise.

The past 10 years have been amazing and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped Cruise along the way. The startup I built in my garage has provided more than 250,000 driverless rides in multiple cities, inspiring people and giving them a little taste of self-driving with every ride. future.

Cruise is still in its infancy and I believe it has a great future. You are all smart, driven, and resilient. I’m sorry I won’t be working next to you anymore. However, I know you are executing on a very strong, multi-year technology roadmap and exciting product vision, and I’m excited to see what Cruise has in store for the next chapter!

Cruisers, you’ve got this! No matter what originally got you started working on self-driving cars, remember why this work is important. The current state of our roads is terrible, but together we are a testament to better things to come.

Vogt also posted a message on social media site X on Sunday night that used similar language to the internal email.He ended the social media post with this message “As for my next plans, I plan to spend time with my family and explore some new ideas. Thank you for a wonderful journey!”

Barra’s internal email was sent about 15 minutes after Vogt sent his email, thanking him for his “tremendous vision, passion and dedication over the past decade.” The email continued:

“The Cruise Lines Board of Directors understands and respects his decision to step down as CEO, and we wish him well in his next chapter. We continue to believe in Cruise’s mission and the potential of its transformative technologies as we look to make transportation safer and cleaner , more convenient. Barrier-free.”

Barra later emphasized, “The board and I also want you to know that we are very focused on making Cruise successful for the long term. Public trust is critical to this. As we work to rebuild that trust, safety, transparency and accountability will Be our North Star.”

Morale at Cruise has been low since the Oct. 2 incident, with employees blaming poor management for not prioritizing the company’s safety.No business license to operate in San Francisco and no internal decision Suspending its self-driving fleet In other states, the company Contract workers who were laid offfurther deepening the discomfort.

The initial layoffs include contract workers responsible for cleaning, charging and maintaining vehicles, as well as answering customer support inquiries. Not all temporary workers employed by third parties have been laid off. However, the company is expected to lay off more of its approximately 4,000 full-time employees.

Employee dissatisfaction further intensified last week Cruise suspends its employee stock sale plan Unnamed sources told TechCrunch that the decision could cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

Over the weekend, Cruise walked back the move. Vogt sent an email Saturday saying certain employees could sell a limited number of shares at a time. Vogt did not provide many details but said the company is working on a plan to conduct a new tender offer to provide stock unit liquidity to mitigate potential tax implications. TechCrunch has reviewed the email.

Vogt later issued a full apology to his staff “for the situation Cruise found himself in today.”

Vogt and Cruise Chief Product Officer Dan Kan founded the self-driving car company in 2013. Initially, the pair focused on developing kits that could modify a vehicle and turn it into a self-driving car. The startup quickly pivoted to a different business model.became interested and acquired the company In March 2016, a cash and stock deal was valued at over $1 billion.

Previously, Vogt co-founded, a website that allows anyone to stream videos online, Twitch, a live streaming platform, and Socialcam, a mobile social video app. Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million, and Socialcam was acquired by Autodesk in 2012 for $60 million.

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