Tuesday, July 16, 2024

GM’s Cruise Names Former Xbox Engineer as New CEO Amid Regulatory Challenges

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General Motors’ (GM.N) robotaxi unit, Cruise, announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Marc Whitten, a former founding engineer of Xbox, as its new CEO, effective July 16. This move comes as the U.S. automaker’s self-driving vehicle company grapples with regulatory scrutiny and operational challenges.

Cruise has been led by two co-presidents since former CEO Kyle Vogt resigned last year following an incident involving one of its driverless vehicles in California. Both co-presidents will continue in their roles at Cruise.

See also: California Regulator Fines GM’s Cruise for Delayed Accident Disclosure

Credit: Cruise

Whitten, who played a crucial role in the development of Xbox and Xbox Live, also held senior positions at Amazon.com, Sonos, and Create at Unity. “Marc Whitten has sparked innovation and driven growth in complex, fast-paced environments throughout his career,” said GM CEO Mary Barra.

In related news, GM announced that Craig Glidden will remain as co-president and chief administrative officer at Cruise but will step down from his role as GM’s chief legal and public policy officer. Grant Dixton, formerly chief legal officer at Activision Blizzard and general counsel at Boeing, will succeed Glidden on July 15. Glidden will also serve as executive vice president and strategic advisor at GM.

See also: GM to Infuse $850 Million into Cruise for Resumed Self-Driving Tests

Credit: Cruise

Cruise has incurred losses exceeding $8 billion since 2016 and faced significant challenges since last October, when California revoked its permit to operate driverless vehicles after a robotaxi accident injured a pedestrian. The company is under investigation by the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Earlier this month, GM’s Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson disclosed an additional $850 million investment into Cruise, stating, “this buys us time to continue to pursue our strategic review.” Following this, Cruise has made several executive changes and staff reductions.

See also: Cruise’s Autonomous Vehicle Return to Dallas Signals Redemption Efforts

The California Public Utilities Commission recently fined Cruise $112,500 for withholding information about the incident. Cruise also reached a settlement with the injured pedestrian valued between $8 million and $12 million, according to a source.

Despite these setbacks, Cruise has resumed supervised autonomous driving in Phoenix, Houston, and Dallas, along with ongoing testing in Dubai.

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