GM’s Cruise is hiring former Delta Chief Working Officer, Gil West

Cruise Origin driverless shuttle

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Cruise, General Motors’ majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary, has hired former Delta Air Lines chief operating officer Gil West as its first COO, the company said on Friday.

West retired after 12 years with the Atlanta-based airline in late September. He was responsible for Delta’s global operations, including 366 airports in 66 countries, 1,300 aircraft, 200 million customers per year, and managed a budget of $ 16 billion. He began shortly before Delta merged with Northwest in 2008 and was named Delta’s COO in 2014.

“Gil’s track record of delivering a stunning customer experience, exceptional operational performance and impeccable safety at scale is a perfect fit for Cruise as we set out to commercialize our self-propelled technology,” said Dan Ammann, Cruise CEO, in one Explanation .

West is the second Delta manager to join the automaker’s operations in the past few months. GM named Delta CFO Paul Jacobson as its new CFO in October. Jacobson replaced Dhivya Suryadevara, who unexpectedly left GM for the digital payments company Stripe effective December 1.

The commercialization of self-driving cars is taking much longer than most people thought, a few years ago. Despite the considerable hype on Wall Street and with companies including Cruise that now promise driverless fleets, Alphabet’s Waymo remains the only company in Arizona that operates self-driving vehicles for public use.

Cruise had planned to launch a robotaxi fleet in San Francisco in 2019, but those plans have been postponed indefinitely for further testing.

“Cruise is leading the way in changing lives and improving the status quo of transportation,” West said in a statement. “There will be no bigger change in my life in the transportation industry than moving to self-drive … I’ve trained my entire career for an opportunity like this.”

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