Kyle Vogt, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded and ran Cruise from a startup in his garage until it was acquired and owned 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 Elshenawy, Cruise’s executive vice president of engineering, would serve as Cruise’s president and CTO. Craig Glidden, Cruise board member and GM senior vice president of legal and policy affairs, recently named Cruise’s chief administrative officer, will continue in this role.
GM board member Jon McNeill has been named vice chairman of Cruise’s board. McNeill, who recently joined Cruise’s board of directors, will now serve alongside Cruise Board Chair Mary Barra. A statement from Cruise confirms Barra’s email.
The executive shakeup comes a month after the California Department of Motor Vehicles. cruise license suspended driving autonomous vehicles on public roads after a October 2 incident who saw a pedestrian – who was initially struck by a car driven by a human and landed in the path of a Cruise robotaxi – crushed and dragged 20 feet by the AV.
The email sent to all employees – and seen by TechCrunch – reads:
I resigned as CEO of Cruise.
The last 10 years have been incredible and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped Cruise along his journey. The startup I launched in my garage has delivered over 250,000 driverless rides across multiple cities, with each ride inspiring people with a small taste of the future.
Cruise is just starting out and I think she has a bright future ahead of her. You are all brilliant, motivated and resilient. I am deeply saddened to no longer work alongside you. However, I know you’re 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 us in its next chapter!
Cruisers, you got it! Whatever your reason for working on AV, remember why this work is important. The status quo on our roads sucks, but together we have proven that there is something much better to come.
Morale at Cruise has been at an all-time low since the Oct. 2 incident, with employees pointing fingers at poor management that failed to prioritize safety at the company. Employee discontent grew further last week when Cruise suspends its employee stock sales program for the fourth quarter. Sources who spoke to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity said they could lose more than tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the move.
Over the weekend, Cruise reversed that decision. Vogt sent an email Saturday stating that 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 in restricted stock units to mitigate potential tax implications. TechCrunch viewed the email.
Vogt then issued a blanket apology to his team for “the situation Cruise finds himself in today.”
This story is developing…