In a surprising turn of events, autonomous vehicle company Cruise announced on Sunday that CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt would be stepping down from his role. Vogt confirmed the news through posts on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Following Vogt's departure, the reins of Cruise will be taken over by Mo Elshenawy, the company's former executive vice president of engineering. Elshenawy assumes the positions of president and chief technology officer (CTO) as Cruise navigates this leadership transition.
Today I resigned from my position as CEO of Cruise. (1/5)
— Kyle Vogt (@kvogt) November 20, 2023
Vogt did not delve into the specifics of his resignation from the driverless robotaxi unit but expressed his intention to “spend time with my family and explore some new ideas.” Despite leaving his role, Vogt maintained an optimistic tone in his posts, commending the brilliance of Cruise's workforce and expressing confidence that the company is just beginning its journey.
In his farewell message, Vogt shared, “Cruise is still just getting started, and I believe it has a great future ahead. The folks at Cruise are brilliant, driven, and resilient. They're executing on a solid, multi-year roadmap and an exciting product vision. I'm thrilled to see what Cruise has in store next!”
Vogt's departure comes at a challenging time for Cruise, marked by the recall of nearly 1,000 robotaxis and the loss of its permit to operate driverless vehicles in San Francisco. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has also turned its attention to Cruise, alleging misrepresentation and omission of information regarding an incident involving a robotaxi and a pedestrian previously hit by a human-driven car. The leadership transition occurs amidst these hurdles as Cruise strives to address and overcome the current challenges.