GM's Robotaxi Unit Cruise Fires COO, Other Key Executives Amid Safety Probe
Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle company owned by General Motors Co., has dismissed nine key executives amid an ongoing safety investigation, Reuters reported, citing a memo.
Chief Operating Officer Gil West, Chief Legal and Policy Officer Jeff Bleich, and Senior Vice President of Government Affairs David Estrada are among those dismissed.
The decision was taken related to an investigation of an October 2 incident in which a pedestrian was struck and dragged by a Cruise vehicle in San Francisco.
The memo said, “Following an initial analysis of the October 2 incident and Cruise’s response to it, nine individuals departed Cruise… We are committed to full transparency and are focused on rebuilding trust and operating with the highest standards when it comes to safety, integrity, and accountability. As a result, we believe that new leadership is necessary to achieve these goals.”
Following the accident, the state of California had suspended the firm’s license to operate driverless cars. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into pedestrian risks by Cruise.
On October 26, the company announced a pause of all its driverless operations in the United States. The investigation is expected to last until January.
Amid the ongoing safety review of its U.S. fleet, Kyle Vogt, CEO and Co-Founder of Cruise, and co-founder Dan Kan both resigned from the firm. Cruise is also preparing for a round of layoffs this month, reports said.
As per its website, Cruise has received $10 billion in funding from various companies and investors, including Honda, Microsoft, T. Rowe Price, and Walmart.
Cruise, which earlier announced its ambitious plans to expand to more cities, recently said it would continue to operate its vehicles in closed-course training environments and maintain an active simulation program to stay focused on advancing AV technology.
In mid-October, GM and Cruise announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co., Ltd. to form a joint venture to begin a driverless ride-hail service in Japan in early 2026.
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