Cruise, the troubled autonomous-vehicle unit of General Motors, has dismissed nine “key leaders” in the wake of an October crash in San Francisco that left a pedestrian critically injured.
Among those departing the company are its legal, government affairs, commercial operations, and safety and systems leaders, Cruise said in a statement Wednesday.
“As a company, we are committed to full transparency and are focused on rebuilding trust and operating with the highest standards when it comes to safety, integrity, and accountability and believe that new leadership is necessary to achieve these goals,” Cruise said.
Last month, Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt resigned following the suspension of Cruise’s operations on public roads.
The company said Wednesday’s moves follow an “initial analysis” of the Oct. 2 incident, in which a Cruise driverless vehicle ran over a pedestrian who had first been hit by another vehicle, then dragged the pedestrian about 20 feet. Following that, California regulators suspended the company’s license to operate in the state, and accused Cruise of attempting to cover up the severity of the incident, which could result in a $1.5 million fine.
After the crash, Cruise suspended all of its operations on public roads in the U.S. and said it planned an independent, third-party investigation into what happened. Cruise had been given free reign earlier this year to operate driverless taxis in San Francisco, and had also been operating driverless cars in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix.
But even before the crash, Cruise was piling up losses for GM.
In its most recent earnings report in October, GM
reported a $1.9 billion loss for its Cruise business between January and September, including $732 million in third-quarter losses.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in late November that while the automaker is committed to Cruise, it plans “substantially lower spending” on Cruise in 2024. It also scaled back plans for its Origin driverless taxi.