In another sign that the relationship between General Motors and Lyft is weakening, Dan Ammann stepped down as a member of the ride-sharing company’s board of directors.
Ammann, who held the spot since 2016 when GM invested $500 million in the company, will be replaced by Maggie Wilderotter, a former telecommunications executive who sits on Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.’s board with Ammann, the company said.
“Maggie is a world-class executive who brings a wealth of experience to Lyft’s board,” Chief Executive Officer Logan Green said in a statement. “We are delighted to welcome her to Lyft as our second independent director. We also want to thank Dan Ammann for his service on the Lyft board.”
The two sides, GM and Lyft, have been drifting apart for some time. Initially, the companies had a plan where GM would lease cars to Lyft drivers with a goal of building networks of driverless cars in the long run.
(SoftBank invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise. Click Here for the story.)
However, it didn’t take long for the first wedge to be driven between the two companies as Lyft partnered with Ford Motor Co. to develop self-driving technology in September 2017. The San Francisco-based Lyft partnered with Magna International in March.
Ammann has already had to recuse himself from some of Lyft’s corporate decisions, according to Bloomberg News. GM hasn’t sat by quietly as Lyft linked up with other companies. GM spent $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automakers in March 2016 to accelerate the development of its autonomous driving technologies.
(Click Here for more about SoftBank’s $1.4 billion investment in Uber.)
Despite his departure from the board and an increasingly fractious relationship, GM put a positive spin on Ammann leaving.
“We continue to be pleased with our investment in Lyft,” GM spokesman Dave Roman said in a statement to Bloomberg. “This board change has no impact on our investment.”
(To see more about GM asking for federal approval to launch driverless robe-cabs in 2019, Click Here.)
It didn’t hurt that Ammann was allowed to pick his replacement on the board and this provides the company with a board member who can be fully engaged in every matter brought up to the board.