- Mohamed El-Shenawy, who previously served as executive vice president of engineering at Cruise, will now serve as president and chief technology officer at Cruise, the company said.
- Vogt confirmed his resignation Sunday night in a social media post on X. He did not give a reason for the resignation and said he plans to “spend some time with my family and explore some new ideas.”
- Vogt’s resignation follows a series of mistakes made by Cruz.
Kyle Vogt, founder and CEO of Cruise, has resigned from his position at General Motors Co.’s self-driving car project, according to a company statement sent to CNBC on Sunday.
Jordan Vonderhaar | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Kyle Vogt, CEO and co-founder of Cruise, has resigned from his position at GM’s self-driving car project, according to a company statement sent to CNBC on Sunday.
Mohamed El-Shenawy, who previously served as executive vice president of engineering at Cruise, will now serve as president and chief technology officer at Cruise, the company said.
Vogt confirmed his resignation Sunday night in a social media post on X, formerly known as Twitter. He did not give a reason for his resignation, and said that he intends to “spend some time with my family and explore some new ideas.”
The departing CEO also offered words of encouragement, writing: “Cruise is still young, and I believe it has a great future ahead of it. The people at Cruise are amazing, driven and resilient. They execute their business on a strong, diverse foundation.” “A year-long roadmap and exciting product vision. I’m excited to see what Cruz has in store next!”
Vogt’s resignation follows a series of mistakes made by Cruz.
As CNBC previously reported, the company issued a voluntary recall affecting 950 of its robotaxis and halted all operations of the vehicles on public roads after a series of incidents that drew criticism from first responders, labor activists and local elected officials, especially in San Francisco.
In one serious accident in October, the driver of another car struck a pedestrian in San Francisco at night, throwing her into the path of a self-driving Cruise car, which then drove and towed her.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended deployment and testing permits for Cruise’s self-driving vehicles after this incident. “When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits,” organizers said in a statement at the time.
In suspension orders issued by the California DMV to Cruz, regulators accused the company of failing to provide a transparent account of what happened during the pedestrian collision.
Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Cruise to determine whether its automated driving systems “exercised appropriate caution around pedestrians on the roadway,” according to a filing on the agency’s website. website.
GM bought Cruise in 2016. It then brought in investors such as Honda Motor, SoftBank Vision Fund and, more recently, Walmart and Microsoft. However, last year, GM acquired SoftBank’s ownership stake for $2.1 billion.
GM executives, including CEO and Chairman Mary Barra, had hoped the startup would bolster its driverless transportation network this year, and hoped Cruise would play a prominent role in doubling the company’s revenue by 2030.
In October 2021, GM said it expects “new businesses” like Cruise and its BrightDrop electric vehicle business to grow from $2 billion to $80 billion during that time frame.
According to its most recent quarterly update, GM lost nearly $1.9 billion on cruise between January and September 2023, including $732 million in the third quarter alone.
Barra also serves as Chairman of Cruise’s Board of Directors. John McNeil, a former Tesla and Lyft executive who has been on GM’s board since 2022, was named vice chairman of the self-driving unit after Vogt’s resignation.
“The buck starts at the top,” Alex Roy of transportation consulting firm Johnson & Roy told CNBC. “If Cruise is going to survive, and they have great technology there, the CEO has to go.”
“I suspect that at least one of the high-level executives will have to resign — whoever made the call to obscure or delete information in communication with the California DMV,” he said. “In my opinion, Cruz has been too slow to take steps to rebuild trust with employees, regulators and the public. Executive departures are stakes on the table.”
Vogt’s resignation comes nearly two years after he was reappointed as CEO, following the unexpected departure of Dan Ammann, former GM CEO, in December 2021.
Aman, a former investment banker, began leading Cruise in 2019 after serving as GM’s president and CFO before that. He was credited with the 2016 acquisition of Cruise.