Cruise appoints new Chief Safety Officer

GM veteran Steve Kenner will lead efforts to fix relations with regulators

Cruise appoints new Chief Safety Officer
Steve Kenner will report to Cruise President Craig Glidden

GM's embattled autonomous driving subsidiary Cruise has appointed a new chief safety officer to spearhead the move to regain consumer and regulatory trust, after Cruise operations were suspended in November.

Cruise was banned from operating in California by the state Department of Motor Vehicles after it was found to have concealed information about a collision in which a pedestrian was injured by one of its robotaxis.

GM veteran Steve Kenner will now oversee Cruise’s safety management systems and operations, reporting directly to Cruise president and chief administrative officer Craig Glidden.

“As we look forward to Cruise’s next chapter, we know we must continually improve our overall safety performance and work to build trust with regulators, other government officials and our communities,” says Glidden. “Steve Kenner brings the perfect blend of experience in AV and automotive safety excellence to help deliver on these important priorities.”

CEO Kyle Volgt resigned, along with eight other top executives, in the fallout from the incident last year.

An independent report in January found serious faults in the company's dealings with regulators.

GM announced a $1bn cutback in spending on Cruise last month, including layoffs for over 900 staff.

"We are committed to earning back the trust with our regulators and the public through our actions. Our plan for 2024 investment in Cruise reflects our more deliberate and cadence go-to-market strategy and we are developing new financial targets and a new roadmap," GM Managing Director Mary Barra told investors at GM's Q4 earnings call last month.
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Law firm Bernstein Liebhard has announced it is investigating potential mismanagement at GM "in connection with Cruise", as well as the company’s continued use of airbag inflators manufactured by US firm ARC Automotive in its vehicles.

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