Cruise Cuts More Than 900 Jobs, Fires Executives

The GM subsidiary is letting a quarter of its staff go nearly 24 hours after dismissing nine key executives

Graham Hope

December 15, 2023

3 Min Read
Cruise vehicles parked in a lot.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The shocking repercussions of an accident involving one of Cruise’s self-driving taxis in October continue to escalate, with more than 900 jobs set to be cut at the company.

That constitutes broadly a quarter of its staff, with the news, initially relayed internally, confirmed in a statement by the General Motors subsidiary.

It read: “We shared the difficult news that we are reducing our workforce, primarily in commercial operations and related corporate functions. These changes reflect our decision to focus on more deliberate commercialization plans with safety as our north star. 

“We are supporting impacted Cruisers with strong severance and benefits packages and are grateful to the departing employees who played important roles in building Cruise and supporting our mission.”

The latest blow came a mere 24 hours after nine key executives were dismissed following an investigation into Cruise’s response to the Oct. 2 crash by law firm Quinn Emmanuel. Among the departures were Chief Operating Officer Gil West and Chief Legal and Policy Officer Jeff Bleich.

Cruise has been in turmoil since the accident in San Francisco, which saw a pedestrian dragged along the road by one of its Chevrolet Bolt self-driving taxis after being struck by a hit-and-run human-driven vehicle, leaving her seriously injured.

Related:Woman Trapped Under Self-Driving Taxi After Freak Accident

The company has suspended all operations and faces a hefty fine of up to $150,000, amid suggestions that it was not fully transparent in the aftermath of the incident, initially withholding video evidence.

Alarmed by Cruise’s response, General Motors has taken a much more hands-on role in the company over the past couple of months, essentially pressing the reset button. The turmoil has seen the resignation of Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt, suspension of production of the planned Origin self-driving taxi and confirmation of significantly reduced investment to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Now, in the wake of the job cuts, Cruise has shared more on how it aims to proceed in a blog post on its website.

“Our goal is to focus our work on a fully driverless L4 service that meets a new AV performance bar, prioritize the Bolt platform, relaunch ride hail in one city to start and enhance our safety standards and processes before we scale,” said Cruise president Mo Elshenawy.

“We are ceasing work on the Origin MY24 but not losing sight of our work on future programs. This is very different from our prior plans to expand into more than a dozen new cities in 2024.”

Related:GM Cruise Suspends All Self-Driving Operations, Even Manually Driven

There is no confirmation, yet, of where Cruise will resume operations, but it is unlikely to be in San Francisco, which until now has been its hub.

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About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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