General Motors President Dan Ammann is changing jobs again, now serving as the full time as the Chief Executive Officer of GM Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.
Ammann had worked closely with Cruise since GM acquired the self-driving vehicle start up back in 2016.
The move marks the second time in six months that Ammann’s role within the company has been changed. In July, he shifted some of his responsibilities to Executive Vice President Mark Reuss to focus on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles.
He also resigned from the board of directors of Lyft, the ride-sharing service that was supposed to be working with GM Cruise to further develop self-driving cars.
(GM revamps responsibilities for Ammann, Reuss. Click Here for the story.)
At that time, it was thought his responsibility shift would give him more time to GM Cruise on track toward its goal of introducing an autonomous vehicle next year reflects the importance that the company places on that business.
Japan’s SoftBank plowed $2.25 billion into GM Cruise — GM responded by putting another $1 billion of its own into the enterprise — probably provided some incentive to make sure it meets its goals. However, the current move suggests the pace needs to accelerate further.
“I’m excited to dedicate 100% of my time and energy to helping Kyle and the entire team realize our mission of deploying this technology at scale,” said Ammann.
(Click Here to see more about Ammann quitting Lyft board of directors.)
GM said that the change in leadership will help expedite the commercialization of the automated driving technology. Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s founder, will remain with the company as the President and Chief Technical Officer. The appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2019.
Ammann’s duties with GM, including supervision of GM’s international operations in China, will be assumed by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
“These appointments further demonstrate our commitment to transforming mobility through the safe deployment of self-driving technology and move us closer to our vision for a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “As we move toward commercial deployment, adding Dan to the strong team led by Kyle is the next step.”
(SoftBank invests $2.25 billion in GM Cruise. Click Here for the story.)
Earlier in the week, GM announced it was preparing to close seven plants and eliminate 15,000 jobs. The restructuring plan also calls for the elimination of 25% of the company’s executive positions. The restructuring plan has drawn praise from Wall Street, but it also has been attacked by Democrats and Republicans led by President Donald Trump as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.