General Motors’ Cruise Automation subsidiary has its first-ever chief technology officer in AG Gangadhar. The newly minted CTO formerly worked for Uber but departed this past July.
Recode reported in late November that Gangadhar is also the same executive named in controversial emails surrounding sexual harassment in his former department at Uber. Specifically, Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, complained of sexual harassment in the workplace and indirectly referenced Gangadhar in a detailed essay on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Gangadhar reportedly ignored Fowler’s comments and concerns over sexual harassment and barred her from transferring departments due to “undocumented performance problems.” She criticized GM for hiring the—in her opinion—controversial figure.
“The hire is troubling, and is proof that Silicon Valley still has a very, very long way to go before it can claim it takes culture problems seriously,” she said.
Cruise defended Gangadhar and said it performed weeks of due diligence before offering the executive the position.
“His technical skills are extensive and unique, and were corroborated throughout the interview process. Given the current issues at Uber, Gangadhar’s former employer, we extensively vetted him over the ongoing employment-related litigation and have no indication that he is implicated in the matter,” a Cruise spokesperson said.