Cruise has launched a paid robotaxi service in Houston, Texas
Cruise has launched a paid robotaxi service in Houston, Texas

Cruise lays off 24% of its workforce

What To Know

  • This announcement follows a disturbing incident in San Francisco over 10 weeks ago, where a Cruise vehicle, involved in a hit-and-run, subsequently pinned and dragged a pedestrian.
  • A Cruise spokesperson stated, “We are simplifying and focusing our efforts to return with an exceptional service in one city before we scale, beginning with the Bolt platform.
  • Cruise President and CTO Mo Elshenawy acknowledged the hardship in an internal email, emphasizing the necessity of the changes to refocus efforts and ensure safety remains a top priority.
  • The layoffs at Cruise will contribute to a growing trend of tech industry workforce reductions in 2023.

According to reports from Engadget, TechCrunch, and CNBC, the cruise has confirmed a substantial 24% reduction in its workforce, comprising approximately 900 employees. This announcement follows a disturbing incident in San Francisco over 10 weeks ago, where a Cruise vehicle, involved in a hit-and-run, subsequently pinned and dragged a pedestrian.

The repercussions of this event prompted the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend Cruise’s driverless permits due to safety concerns. In response to these challenges, Cruise has made strategic decisions to prioritize safety and streamline operations.

The company recently bid farewell nine executives, including its chief operating officer, signaling a commitment to more deliberate commercialization plans. A Cruise spokesperson stated, “We are simplifying and focusing our efforts to return with an exceptional service in one city before we scale, beginning with the Bolt platform.”

The layoffs primarily impact non-engineering roles such as field workers, commercial operations, and corporate staffing. Despite the difficult decision, the company aims to support affected employees with robust severance and benefits packages.

Cruise President and CTO Mo Elshenawy acknowledged the hardship in an internal email, emphasizing the necessity of the changes to refocus efforts and ensure safety remains a top priority.

Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO had hinted at impending changes, expressing the need for Cruise to be more deliberate in its approach. The company plans to cut expenses significantly in 2024, aligning with the industry trend of cost reduction.

The tragic incident on October 2 raised concerns about the effectiveness of Cruise’s autonomous vehicles, particularly in detecting vulnerable road users such as children. This revelation led to increased scrutiny, further impacting the company’s reputation.

The layoffs at Cruise will contribute to a growing trend of tech industry workforce reductions in 2023. As the company navigates these challenges, its commitment to safety and strategic planning will be crucial in reshaping its future trajectory.

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