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Kyle Vogt, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded and led Cruise from a garage startup through its acquisition and ownership by General Motors, has resigned, according to an email sent to employees Sunday evening.
In another email, also seen by TechCrunch, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra announced that Mo El-Shenawy, executive vice president of engineering at Cruise, will serve as president and CTO of Cruise. Craig Glidden, a member of Cruise’s board of directors and executive vice president of legal and policy at General Motors who was recently appointed chief administrative officer of Cruise, will continue in this role. John McNeil, a member of the General Motors Board of Directors, has been appointed Vice Chairman of Cruise. MacNeil, who recently joined the Cruise Board of Directors, will now serve alongside Cruise Board Chair Mary Barra. A statement from Cruise confirms Parra’s email.
The executive change comes a month after the California Department of Motor Vehicles Cruise permits suspended To operate autonomous vehicles on public roads yet October 2 incident Which saw a pedestrian – who was initially struck by a human-driven car and landed in the path of a robotaxi – being run over and dragged 20 feet by an AV. The DMV was asked to suspend the permits not only because of the robotaxi’s actions, but because the agency said Cruz did not share the last seven seconds of the video showing the car pulling the pedestrian.
The email sent to all employees – and viewed by TechCrunch – says:
I have resigned as CEO of Cruise.
The past 10 years have been amazing, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped Cruz along the way. The startup I launched in my garage has provided more than 250,000 driverless rides in multiple cities, with each ride inspiring people with a little taste for the future.
Cruise is still in its infancy, and I think it has a great future ahead of it. You are all amazing, driven and resilient. I am deeply saddened that I will no longer be working alongside you. However, I know you’re working with a very strong, multi-year technology roadmap and an exciting product vision, and I’m excited to see what Cruz has in store in the next chapter!
Cruisers, you’ve got this! Regardless of why you originally got into working on AVs, remember why this work is important. The status quo on our roads is bad, but together we have proven that something much better is coming soon.
Vogt also posted a message Sunday evening on the social media site X that used language similar to the internal email. End of social media thread With this message “As for what’s next for me, I plan to spend some time with my family and explore some new ideas. Thanks for the great trip!”
Morale at Cruise has been low since the Oct. 2 incident, with employees pointing the finger at poor management that did not prioritize safety at the company. Employee dissatisfaction flared up even more last week when… Cruise has suspended its employee stock sale program For the fourth quarter. The sources, who spoke to TechCrunch on the condition of anonymity, said they could lose up to tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the decision.
Over the weekend, Cruz reversed that step. Vogt sent an email Saturday saying some employees could sell a limited number of shares in a one-time opportunity. Vogt did not provide many details but said the company is developing a plan to conduct a new tender offer to provide liquidity to the restricted stock unit to mitigate potential tax implications. TechCrunch has seen the email.
Vogt went on to offer a comprehensive apology to his staff for “the situation Cruz is in today.”
Dan Kahn, chief product officer at Vogt and Cruise, founded the self-driving vehicle company in 2013. Initially, the duo focused on hardware that could be retrofitted onto a car. The startup quickly pivoted to a different business model. GM cared and acquired the company In March 2016 in a cash and stock deal valued at more than $1 billion.
Previously, Vogt co-founded Justin.tv, a site that allows anyone to stream video 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 by Autodesk for $60 million in 2012.