Cruise Executives Depart Following Safety Probe Into Robotaxi Incident


Nine Cruise managers and executives have left GM’s self-driving vehicle subsidiary following an initial internal analysis of the October 2 incident. This incident involved a pedestrian being stuck under and then dragged by one of its robotaxis. The departures were communicated to employees via an internal Slack message. Cruise spokesperson Erik Moser confirmed the departures and shared a statement, but declined to comment on whether these employees were fired.

Key Takeaway

Nine Cruise managers and executives have departed following an initial safety probe into the robotaxi incident. The company is emphasizing its commitment to transparency and rebuilding trust, while also facing regulatory challenges and employee morale issues.

Leadership Changes

The departures included key leaders from Legal, Government Affairs, Commercial Operations, Safety, and Systems. Notable individuals who were dismissed include David Estrada, who previously headed up Cruise’s government affairs department, and COO Gil West, who has updated his LinkedIn profile to indicate the end of his employment.

Commitment to Transparency

Cruise expressed its commitment to full transparency and rebuilding trust. The company emphasized its focus on operating with the highest standards in safety, integrity, and accountability, stating that new leadership is necessary to achieve these goals.

Regulatory Impact

The California Department of Motor Vehicles had suspended Cruise’s permits to operate self-driving vehicles on public roads after the October 2 incident. This incident involved a pedestrian being hit by a human-driven car and then run over and dragged by a Cruise robotaxi. The DMV’s order of suspension cited Cruise’s withholding of crucial video footage, which showed the robotaxi attempting to pull over and subsequently dragging the woman 20 feet.

Employee Morale and Layoffs

Following the incident, morale at Cruise has been low, with employees expressing concerns about poor management prioritization of safety. The company’s internal decision to pause its driverless fleets in other states and lay off contract workers has further contributed to the subdued atmosphere.

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