- Cruise plans to grow its headcount to more than 2,000 by the end of 2019.
- The GM division, valued at $14.6 billion, has also hired the former human resources exec from Dropbox to serve as its Chief People Officer.
- Cruise is moving to a larger office space in San Francisco and continues to aim for a commercial rollout this year.
GM’s Cruise self-driving division intends to double in size by the end of 2019.
The San Francisco-based self-driving division also announced on Monday that it has hired Arden Hoffman, who previously worked at Dropbox and helped guide the startup to its 2018 public stock offering. Previously, she spent time at Google and Goldman Sachs.
"Arden has made a huge impact on Dropbox over the last four years," a Dropbox spokesperson said.
"She helped build and scale our team and culture to the over 2,300 person company we are today, and we’ll miss her leadership, determination, and sense of humor. While we’re sorry to see her go, we’re excited for her and wish her all the best in this new opportunity to grow the team at Cruise."
Cruise is also getting a new office at a South of Market San Francisco building, sharing space with DropBox in a structure designed by William McDonough and Partners.
The division’s current headcount is over 1,000 employees. GM acquired Cruise when it was a tiny startup, for an all-in price of $1 billion (the ultimate deal size contained funding for future hiring).
Following investments from Japan’s SoftBank and Honda, the division is valued at $14.6 billion. In late 2018, then-GM President Dan Ammann, the architect of the Cruise acquisition, assumed the CEO’s role. Co-founder and the-CEO Kyle Vogt shifted the chief technical officer’s position as the unit pushed toward a commercial rollout in 2019.
Cruise is in a race with Alphabet’s Waymo to bring automated rail-hailing services to customers. Ford’s ArgoAI is also chasing that goal, with a recent investment from Volkswagen, and Tesla has repeatedly indicated that it also wants to get in on the action.
However, Cruise’s valuation is more specific than any of its competitors, and the divisions benefits from being part of the largest US automaker. Cruise has been testing its autonomous technology using Chevy Bolt electric vehicles manufactured at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.
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