GM Cruise CTO leaves, disagrees with CEO's 'engineering vision'

GM Cruise CTO leaves, disagrees with CEO's 'engineering vision'

by Justin King

The controversial executive had been blamed for contributing to a "toxic environment" for female workers during his tenure at Uber.

The chief technology officer of General Motors' Cruise Automation division, AG Gangadhar, has resigned from his position.

The executive had served as an engineering executive at Uber before joining GM in September. He had almost reached the six-month mark in his latest role before leaving.

Bloomberg suggests Gangadhar may have been implicated in Uber's sexual harassment scandal. One female Uber engineer, Ana Media, blames him for contributing to a toxic work environment.

Dear @JudgeGroup, please stop sending recruiter emails to @UberEng employees trying to get us to work at @Cruise. None of us want to work under AG again. He created a hostile working environment for everyone, especially women.

— Bryan Stitt (@WyseNynja) March 8, 2018

Gangadhar was hired to join Cruise seven months after Susan Fowler first brought attention to alleged sexual harassment at Uber and three months after co-founder Travis Kalanick stepped down. It would be surprising if GM-Cruise did not consider the scandal in its due diligence when hiring a new top executive that had previously served in a leadership role at Uber.

Cruise spokesman Ray Wert suggests the departure was a mutual decision and the company wishes him the best in all future endeavors. Gangadhar issued a statement claiming the decision was due to a disagreement with Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt.

"I left Cruise on good terms and only because Kyle and I had differing visions for the direction of the engineering team," he said.

Separate reports suggest Cruise is struggling to advance toward production viability, despite GM's bold claims that the company is just months away from its first commercial rollout. One insider claimed the vehicles are involved in many near misses and have trouble dealing with seemingly basic challenges such as narrow two-way residential streets.

The source casting doubt on GM's public statements estimates it could be a decade before Cruise cars are able to be deployed widely in major cities.