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Nine executives were fired, four employees were laid off from one stroke, and Cruise, the star unmanned car company, sounded the alarm.

2024-06-19 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >

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Shulou(Shulou.com)12/24 Report--

It's not easy for big brother, too.

Author | Wang Lei

Cruise, a driverless car company that was supposed to be GM, has reached an all-time low.

On December 14, local time, GM's Robotaxi company Cruise announced another large-scale layoffs, laying off 900 people, accounting for 24% of the total workforce.

The massive layoffs were announced a day after Cruise fired nine core executives, even at a high level, including chief operating officer Gil West, according to Bloomberg.

It is clear that after the factory shutdown and the resignation of CEO, Cruise, the internal unrest continues. In less than half a year, Cruise fell from the highlight moment to the bottom. The cold air of winter began to permeate in an all-round way.

On Thursday, Mo ElShenawy, who took over as president and chief technology officer last month, announced the layoffs in a full letter to Cruise.

"We know that this day is coming, but it is still very difficult, especially for those whose work is affected." Employees are expected to receive notification of whether they will lose their jobs an hour after receiving company-wide emails.

The tone in the email was obviously a little helpless, because "layoffs are not the fault of employees."

Before the massive layoffs, Cruise had as many as 3800 employees. After the layoffs, there are fewer than 2900 employees left.

A spokesman for Cruise said the layoffs were mainly in business operations and related corporate functions. "these changes reflect our decision to focus on a more thoughtful commercialization plan."

This means that technical positions, such as most engineers, will not be affected.

The email also informed employees of the arrangements after being laid off, including wages, severance pay, benefits and other issues. For example, the salary of ex-employees will be retained until February 12 and will be eligible for an additional 8 weeks' salary, while long-term employees will receive an additional 2 weeks' salary. Laid-off employees will receive a 2023 bonus on January 5, 2024, and all employees, regardless of whether they are fired or not, will be assigned on January 15 through the employee stock sale program.

Cruise also mentioned that the next step is to make every effort to ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles, which is also in line with Cruise's restructuring plan last month, when parent company GM strengthened safety regulation and hired independent "safety experts" to evaluate the company's safety operations, while hiring engineering consulting firm Exponent to conduct an expanded investigation of Cruise's technology and safety systems.

In fact, at the beginning of the restructuring plan, Cruise carried out a round of layoffs, but only related to employees dispatched by labor services, and the exact number of layoffs was not disclosed.

In the restructuring plan of Cruise, not only ordinary employees but also senior executives can not escape the fate of being fired. The massive layoffs came a day after Cruise fired nine "key leaders".

According to the memo, "after a preliminary analysis of the events of October 2 and Cruise's response, nine personnel left Cruise." It also means that the nine executives who were fired may have been linked to previous autopilot accidents.

The memo also said: "We are committed to full transparency and focus on restoring trust and operating to the highest standards in terms of security, integrity and accountability, and we need new leadership to achieve these goals."

A spokesman for Cruise later confirmed that the executives fired included chief legal and policy officer Jeff Jeff Bleich and senior vice president of government affairs David Estrada (David Estrada).

Even its chief operating officer, Gil West, a former Delta Air Lines (Delta) executive who was in charge of business operations after joining Cruise, was fired.

Combined with the job scope of the layoffs of 900 people, it can be said that Cruise basically laid off all the people who operated the posts from top to bottom.

GM said the investigation, led by law firm Quinn Emmanuel, was expected to continue into January. "Today's personnel decision is a necessary step forward for Cruise, which focuses on accountability, trust and transparency."

02. The all-self-made Cruise was once valued at more than $30 billion, and the reason why it fell from the all-American self-driving star company to such a place had to start with an accident in October.

On the evening of October 2, a female pedestrian was hit by a human-driven car and rolled down the driveway. At this time, one of Cruise's Robotaxi did not avoid, but drove head-on and hit the pedestrian again, and then put on the emergency brake, when the pedestrian had been involved under the car.

However, the Sao operation came, and after the vehicle stood still, it started the instruction to pull over, dragging the pedestrian for a distance of more than 6 meters, causing serious injuries to all parts of his body.

According to the San Francisco Fire Department, by the time they were called to the scene, Robotaxi had stopped completely, while the victims were still under the car, and they eventually used first-aid tools to rescue the victims from under the wheels, and the car driver who had originally hit a pedestrian had driven away.

Although there have been a number of car accidents in Cruise before, such as hitting and stopping fire engines, blocking ambulances and causing the injured to lose the best time for treatment and death, this accident became the direct trigger for the total shutdown of Cruise.

Because in this accident, the California Motor vehicle Administration (DMV) found that Cruise executives deliberately concealed a key detail during a meeting with regulators the day after the accident-- the driving record video provided to DMV showed only the first emergency brake after Robotaxi hit a pedestrian, but not the fact that the vehicle continued to drive, dragging the victim under the car.

It was not until October 13 that Cruise provided the full video to the DMV.

In other words, it is not only technical flaws that endanger the survival of the Robotaxi company, but also an intolerable moral crisis for Cruise.

Bryant Walker Smith (Bryant Walker Smith), a law professor at the University of South Carolina, said bluntly: "an untrusted self-driving company is not qualified to be on our road."

From then on, the avalanche began.

At that time, it was only two months after Cruise got the 7-hour 24-hour unmanned operation certificate issued by California. First, the road and operation permits were revoked one after another, and the business was completely shut down; then the vehicles were recalled and stopped production; and now many executives have been laid off.

At the same time, GM is preparing to slash its budget, totaling about $3 billion (21.414 billion yuan) in costs next year, including $2 billion (14.277 billion yuan) in fixed costs.

Cruise, which is in turmoil, bears the brunt. GM CFO Paul Jacobson (Paul Jacobson) said its spending on Cruise would be cut by "hundreds of millions of dollars" in 2024, and that sharp budget cuts may also be an important factor in the layoffs.

03, Big Brother's life is also difficult on the same day that Cruise was laid off, its parent company General Motors also announced a new round of layoffs.

GM plans to cut about 1300 jobs in Michigan from early next year, citing the imminent discontinuation of production and the switch to electric cars, GM disclosed in the filing.

The layoffs mainly involve workers in two factories, including the Orion assembly plant and the Lansing Grand River plant, which make the Chevrolet Bolt.

Among them, the Orion assembly plant mainly produces Chevrolet Bolt models, and the layoffs cover 945 workers. In addition, another 350 workers will be laid off at the Lansing Grand River plant, which used to produce its classic Chevrolet Camaro, as well as some Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models.

GM said the affected hourly workers would get jobs at other factories.

However, layoffs will not begin until January 1 next year. The revamped Orion plant will not be put back into use until the end of 2025. According to another document, layoffs at the Lansing Grand River plant will begin on January 2 and last until March.

Overseas media analysis, the scale of the layoffs is expected, Orion assembly plant had planned to expand production of Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV models, but announced a postponement of production plans in October this year.

Less than two months after the workers' strike, the newly signed labor agreement added $9.3 billion (66.4 billion yuan) to GM's costs.

Now, plus a little brother who stopped before he could get his blood back after burning the money, no matter how well-off he is in his pocket, he has to tighten his belt.

This article is from the official account of Wechat: Chaodian Lab (ID:SuperEV-Lab), author: Wang Lei

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