Dan Ammann is stepping down as CEO of the GM-backed autonomous vehicle startup company, Cruise. General Motors said that Ammann’s departure coincides with plans to accelerate its autonomous vehicle strategy, which were laid out at the recent Investor Day event and places Cruise central stage as GM’s autonomous vehicle platform.
According to a report from Automotive News, Cruise president and chief technical officer Kyle Vogt will take over as the company head, at least for now. Although General Motors announced that Ammann would be leaving the San Francisco-based autonomous vehicle startup, it did not detail the why behind his departure, or whether Ammann had accepted a position at another company.
Prior to serving as CEO at Cruise, Ammann served as president at General Motors, a position he held between January of 2014 and January of 2019. Ammann launched his career at GM in 2010 as treasurer, joining the company after a career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. As treasurer at General Motors, Ammann helped to manage GM’s IPO following the company’s bankruptcy restructuring. Ammann later became GM CFO in 2011, and also led GM Financial, as well as served as GM executive vice president.
Back in January of 2020, Ammann helped to debut Cruise Origin, GM’s first all-electric self-driving vehicle. At the time, the former Cruise CEO called Origin “our answer to the question about what transportation system you’d build if you could start from scratch.”
Ammann’s resignation is the second high-profile departure GM has announced this week, with GM innovation head Pam Fletcher recently announcing a move to Delta as the airlines’ new chief sustainability officer, effective February 1st.
Earlier in October, Cruise was given a permit that enables the technology startup to offer driverless rides to passengers in certain areas of San Francisco. The rides are capped at a maximum speed of 30 mph, while an additional permit is required if Cruise is to begin charging a fee for the rides.