General Motors' (GM) President, Dan Ammann, is taking the reins as CEO of Cruise Automation. 

Cruise Automation focuses on autonomous car technology, and was acquired by GM in 2016 for $1 billion. The company operates driverless test cars in areas including San Francisco, Arizona and the Detroit Metro area. 

The executive shuffle was described as the "next step" in commercializing Cruise's technology. Ammann and other Cruise executives have said previously that the company plans to deploy a paid taxi service sometime in 2019, potentially in partnership with a ride-hailing service such as Uber. 

"I'm excited to dedicate 100 percent of my time and energy to helping Kyle and the entire team realize our mission of deploying this technology at scale," said Ammann in a press release.

The company's co-founder and current CEO, Kyle Vogt, will be taking on the roles of CTO and President. Dan Kan, Cruise's current COO, will remain in his role. The executive changes are effective Jan. 1, 2019.

The change of roles for Ammann, who has served as GM's President since 2014 and was instrumental in the acquisition of Cruise, comes on the heels of a restructuring announcement this week by the automaker. 

In a Nov. 26 press release, GM said that it will lay off 15% of salaried and salaried contract staff, equivalent to 14,000 workers, and also double the resources allocated to "electric and autonomous vehicle programs."


 

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