GM self-driving unit Cruise bids farewell to nine leaders amid probe

Credit: Cruise

General Motors’ self-driving unit Cruise has severed ties with nine leaders. The terminations, which were announced internally by new Cruise President Craig Glidden, come amid ongoing investigations into an October crash involving a Cruise robotaxi and the company’s alleged misrepresentations to regulators.

“As a company, we are committed to full transparency and rebuilding trust and operating at the highest standard when it comes to safety, integrity, and accountability. As a result, we believe new leadership is necessary to achieve these goals,” Glidden reportedly wrote in a Slack message sent to Cruise’s staff.

Citing a source reportedly familiar with the matter, Automotive News noted that among those who were dismissed were COO Gil West and Chief Legal Officer Jeff Bleich. The publication’s source also stated that Cruise’s head of government affairs was dismissed and that some terminations were related to the company’s misrepresentations following the October crash in San Francisco. 

The October Cruise crash in San Francisco was a huge blow to the GM self-driving unit. During the incident, a woman was initially struck by a human-driven vehicle. The impact was so strong that the pedestrian was thrown into the path of a Cruise robotaxi, which did not have a passenger at the time. The robotaxi stopped, but it did so with the pedestrian still pinned under its wheels. The pedestrian was later transported to SF General Hospital with multiple traumatic injuries. 

Later statements from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accused Cruise of misrepresenting and omitting key information about the incident. As per the DMV, more data revealed that the Cruise robotaxi actually traveled another 20 feet at a speed of 7 mph after it initially struck the pedestrian. This meant that the woman was dragged on the street after she was run over, potentially injuring her further.

General Motors, for its part, has issued a comment seemingly echoing the new Cruise President’s stance. “The personnel decisions made today are a necessary step for Cruise to move forward as it focuses on accountability, trust, and transparency. GM remains committed to supporting Cruise in these efforts,” a GM spokesperson noted.  

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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