The co-founder of Cruise, Kyle Vogt, resigned from his duties as CEO, CTO, and President on Sunday night, following a month of turbulence for General Motors’ self-driving car subsidiary. Vogt exits the startup he launched in his garage 10 years ago, just weeks after Cruise recalled 950 robotaxis after one of them dragged a pedestrian in San Francisco.
“To my former colleagues at Cruise and GM – you’ve got this,” said Vogt in his resignation announcement on X. “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.”
Earlier this month, a public records request revealed Cruise vehicles had driven through active crime scenes and disrupted a motorcade escorting First Lady Jill Biden, spurring complaints from the San Francisco Police Department, reported Bloomberg. These complaints pile on to the gruesome event where a robotaxi drove over a woman and dragged her for 20 feet, causing California regulators to deem Cruise vehicles a hazard to public safety. These mishaps embarrassingly contradict Cruise’s safety mission, to “help make streets safer,” and “also make people feel safer.”
Cruise was acquired by General Motors in 2016, hoping to implement driverless technology across its portfolio of vehicle brands, including Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac. That has not panned out, as Cruise’s technology doesn’t seem to be all the way there just yet.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced Mo Elshenaway, executive VP of engineering at Cruise, will take over as President and CTO, according to an internal email seen by TechCrunch. Jon McNeill, a former Tesla and Lyft executive, has been added to the board of directors. No one has been named CEO as of Monday morning.
“The board and I also want you to know that we are intensely focused on setting Cruise up for long-term success,” said Barra in the email to Cruise employees. “Public trust is essential to this.”
Vogt says he will spend more time with family and explore new ideas. The cofounder says he believes Cruise still has a great future ahead. Vogt closed his resignation email, “Thanks for the great ride!”