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Monday, February 12, 2024

Cruise names first chief security officer following crash and controversy

Cruise has named its first “chief security officer” as a part of the corporate’s effort to rehabilitate itself following an incident — and ensuing controversy — final 12 months that left a pedestrian caught below after which dragged by certainly one of its robotaxis.

Steve Kenner, an autonomous car trade veteran who has held prime security roles at Kodiak, Locomation, Aurora and Uber’s now-defunct self-driving division, is filling the newly created function. Kenner will report on to Cruise president and chief administrative officer Craig Glidden. He’ll “oversee Cruise’s security administration methods and operations” and work “in direct partnership with the Cruise Board of Administrators,” the corporate stated in an announcement Monday.

Louise Zhang, a VP of security and methods at Cruise and one of many highest rating safety-related staff previous to Kenner’s arrival, will stay in her place.

Kenner’s appointment comes simply three weeks after the discharge of a 195-page report by legislation agency Quinn Emanuel analyzing the October crash, the place a Cruise robotaxi struck and dragged a pedestrian who was beforehand hit by a human-driven automotive, in addition to the corporate’s response. That report finally decided that Cruise’s management had a “myopic” deal with the media’s response to the crash, and that it ignored necessary info when discussing the occasion with the general public and with regulators.

The crash, and Cruise’s dealing with of it, are actually the topic of many authorities investigations. The Division of Justice, Securities and Change Fee, California Division of Motor Automobiles, California Public Utilities Fee and the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration are all probing the corporate’s actions.

Kenner will begin his new function on the firm at a time when your complete robotaxi fleet is grounded. Cruise just lately slashed its workforce by 24% and pushed out various high-level staff. Cruise co-founder and Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan resigned final 12 months.

Normal Motors, which owns Cruise, has stated it is going to reduce funding within the autonomous car firm by $1 billion this 12 months. The automaker put in Glidden as chief administrative officer in November because it began sorting by way of why the corporate dealt with the October crash so poorly.

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