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Cruise drops nine executives following its robotaxi accident probe

A few weeks after Cruise’s CEO Kyle Vogt and co-founder Daniel Kan resigned, the company has also dismissed nine executives considered as “key” figures for the firm. According to Reuters and other sources, GM’s robotaxi unit sent an internal memo to staff members announcing the executives’ departure while regulators are investigating an incident wherein a pedestrian was dragged by a Cruise vehicle after being struck by another car. Authorities are accusing the company of withholding a video that allegedly shows the victim underneath its vehicle.

“Following an initial analysis of the October 2 incident and Cruise’s response to it, nine individuals departed Cruise,” the memo reportedly reads. “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. As a result, we believe that new leadership is necessary to achieve these goals.”

One of the executives who was dismissed was Gil West, who served as Cruise’s Chief Operating Officer. A spokesperson also confirmed to Reuters that Jeff Bleich and David Estrada, who were the company’s Chief Legal and Policy Officer and Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, respectively, were among the nine executives who were let go.

This is just the latest update in the major upheaval Cruise is going through. The California DMV suspended the company’s driverless permit in October, the same month the incident happened. In November, Cruise recalled 950 of its robotaxis following reports that they had trouble identifying children and that the company knew about it but kept the vehicles on the streets anyway. The robotaxi company eventually suspended even its manual operations as part of a safety probe by a third-party firm. Vogt also reportedly announced before he left the company that layoffs are on the horizon, so these executives may not be the only personnel leaving Cruise before the year ends.

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