The CEO of Cruise Automation, G.M. Mr Costner, is departing the company, Cruise has announced in a blog post.
Mr. Costner originally joined Cruise as a scientist but was hired by Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt in 2016 to lead the team responsible for automating the company’s head-up displays that will control the navigation of Cruise’s autonomous vehicles. Since joining Cruise, Mr. Costner piloted the development of the tech used in the software system for these HUDs.
The new head of the unit will be Mr. Ammann, who currently serves as vice-chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. Mr. Ammann previously served as the president of San Diego-based Embraer in the U.S. and before that, he spent years as a vice-president at Morgan Stanley. He brings skills including leadership and strategy to the helm of Cruise.
Cruise was formed in 2016 to develop self-driving car technology that was later used to equip other vehicles with technology to make them autonomous. Mr. Vogt bought their predecessor – Florida-based Zoox – in order to integrate their highly automated semi-autonomous systems, called Level 4 autonomous driving, into Cruise’s already impressive A.I. capabilities.
In 2016, Mr. Costner was awarded a Star on the Tesla Products of Distinction Award, which was chosen from Tesla’s fleet of test cars on the road. He has been a supporter of Tesla founder Elon Musk as well as other X.R.IP leadership in Nevada and New Jersey for the past decade.
In his last blog post, G.M. has announced that he is now stepping back to “time to write books, lead not-for-profits, the Nobel Prize Committee, and maybe stay silent a little longer than usual.” After 20 years of working in the tech industry, Mr. Costner believes that he has “done his job” as a CEO, and “I believe this is a great time for someone else to take this on.”