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December 17, 2021

Dan Ammann leaving as CEO of GM’s Cruise unit

Ammann’s departure comes amid industry talk of over-ambitious timelines for costly autonomous drive technology.

By David Leggett

General Motors has announced that Dan Ammann, Chief Executive Officer of its Cruise unit – which specializes in autonomous drive technologies – is leaving the company.

Kyle Vogt, Cruise President and Chief Technical Officer, will serve as interim CEO. In addition, Wesley Bush, the former Chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman and a GM board member, will join the Cruise Board.

Alongside the leadership change, GM says it will accelerate the strategy the company detailed in its recent Investor Day, in which Cruise will play an integral role in building GM’s autonomous vehicle (AV) platform as GM ‘aggressively pursues addressable AV markets beyond rideshare and delivery’.

It is unclear what the next steps for Amman are, but media reports say he is leaving Cruise to pursue other opportunities.

GM maintains it is deeply committed to its vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion, and AV technology will play a critical role in realizing it. The company claims that under GM’s ownership to date, Cruise has ‘seized the leadership position in commercial autonomous ridesharing and has created significant value for both GM shareholders and Cruise’s minority shareholders’.

GM acquired Cruise in 2016 to speed up its self-driving car development programme.

Earlier this year, Cruise and parent General Motors said they had entered a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles. At the time, GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said: “Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialisation of Cruise’s all electric, self-driving vehicles.”

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