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Cruise hires first chief safety officer after tragedy, controversy

Cruise has hired its first “chief safety officer” to recover from last year’s tragedy, which left a man pinned beneath and pulled by a robotaxi.

Steve Kenner, a safety expert from Kodiak, Locomation, Aurora, and Uber’s now-defunct self-driving company, will occupy the new position. Kenner will answer Cruise President and CAO Craig Glidden. He would “oversee Cruise’s safety management systems and operations” and work “in direct partnership with the Cruise Board of Directors,” the firm stated Monday.

Louise Zhang, Cruise’s VP of Safety and Systems and one of the highest-ranking safety workers before Kenner, will stay.

Kenner’s appointment comes three weeks after Quinn Emanuel’s 195-page report on the October disaster, in which a Cruise robotaxi hit and dragged a pedestrian hit by a human-driven automobile, and the company’s reaction. That audit found that Cruise’s leadership was “myopic” about the media’s reaction to the tragedy and omitted key details when addressing it with the public and regulators.

Many federal investigations are into the disaster and Cruise’s response. The company’s acts are under investigation by the Department of Justice, SEC, CDMV, CPUCC, and NHTSA.

Kenner will join the firm after the robotaxi fleet is grounded. Cruise cut 24% of their personnel and fired many top executives. Cruise co-founders Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan departed last year.

Cruise-owner General Motors will cut spending by $1 billion this year. In November, the manufacturer named Glidden chief administrative officer while it investigated why it handled the October disaster inadequately.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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