GM Cruise co-founder, senior executive Dan Kahn steps down a day after CEO exit

A self-driving GM Bolt EV is seen during a media event where Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle division, showcased its self-driving cars in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo Credit of license rights

Nov 20 (Reuters) – General Motors ( GM.N ) Cruise co-founder and chief product officer Daniel Kahn has resigned, the company told Reuters on Monday, a day after the departure of Cruise Chief Executive Kyle Vogt.

Kahn announced his resignation in a Slack message that was reviewed by Reuters. The company and Kahn did not provide other details.

In his message to employees, Kahn noted that Cruise served 10,000 trips a week. “I know Cruz will achieve this again soon,” he wrote.

The new departure comes at a tumultuous time for self-driving taxi maker Cruise, which is undergoing a safety review of its U.S. fleet that led to Vogt’s resignation on Sunday.

In a live meeting on Monday, GM executives, including Chief Executive Mary Barra, did little to assuage employee concerns, people listening told Reuters. The company did not respond to the long list of questions that officials have drawn up about Cruz’s future or about a controversial plan to halt a stock resale program.

“They didn’t share anything of substance,” one person who listened to the meeting told Reuters.

Likewise, in his resignation announcement, Vogt, 38, didn’t offer much of an explanation.

“I have resigned from my position,” he wrote in an email to staff reviewed by Reuters on Sunday. Barra said at Monday’s meeting that Vogt resigned voluntarily.

Cruise’s woes are also a setback for an industry dependent on public trust and the cooperation of regulators. In recent months, the department has touted ambitious plans to expand into more cities, offering fully autonomous taxi services.

Vogt’s resignation came as Cruise’s GM and board increased control over management.

Cruise is downsizing after a crash in October that ended with one of Cruise’s self-driving taxis dragging a pedestrian. Cruise has pulled all of its vehicles from testing in the United States to conduct a safety review.

Kahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Over the weekend, Vogt apologized to staff for the company’s ongoing problems. “I take responsibility for the situation Cruz finds himself in today,” he wrote in an email. ‚ÄúThere are no excuses and there is no sugarcoating what happened.

GM has reshuffled management at Cruise, including the appointment of general counsel Craig Glidden as chief administrative officer, the appointment of a third-party safety officer and the appointment of co-presidents.

Regulation of autonomous vehicles is still nascent and largely controlled on a state-by-state basis. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters Monday that the federal government will do everything it can, using existing regulatory powers, to ensure that Cruise and other autonomous vehicles are used safely.

Reporting by Greg Bensinger in San Francisco; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Stephen Coates

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Greg Bensinger joined Reuters as a technology correspondent in 2022, focusing on the world’s largest technology companies. Previously, he was a member of the editorial board of The New York Times and a technology reporter for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He also worked for Bloomberg News, writing about the automotive and telecommunications industries. He studied English literature at the University of Virginia and journalism at Columbia University. Greg lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

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