Dan Ammann, the CEO of Cruise, the autonomous vehicle company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is stepping down, the automaker announced late Thursday. Kyle Vogt, the co-founder of Cruise and its chief technology officer, will take over as interim CEO.
Ammann is the latest CEO of an AV company to step aside as the industry struggles to meet its own over-inflated expectations about the future of driverless cars. Earlier this year, John Krafcik announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Waymo after helping lead the company since 2015.
GM didn’t provide a reason for Ammann’s departure except to say he was leaving to “pursue other opportunities.” A spokesperson for Cruise declined to provide any additional comment.
GM acquired Cruise in 2016 to speed up its self-driving car development program. Ammann, who was then the president of GM, oversaw the acquisition and later assumed the role of CEO of the company.
In 2020, he presided over the rollout of the Origin, the company’s first purpose-built autonomous vehicle. Under his leadership, the company acquired rival AV startup Voyage and raised enough investment to bring its valuation up to $19 billion. And earlier this year, he outlined a plan to scale up Cruise’s fleet to 1 million vehicles by 2030.
But Ammann also oversaw some setbacks, most noticeably the decision to delay a planned launch of a robotaxi service in San Francisco in 2019. The company has yet to commit to a new date but has implied it will be in 2022.
“GM is deeply committed to its vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, zero congestion, and AV technology will play a critical role in realizing it,” GM said in a statement. “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.”