GM’s Cruise laying off 900 employees, or 24% of its workforce: Read the memo here

General Motors’ Cruise on Thursday announced internally that it will lay off 900 employees, or 24% of its workforce, the company confirmed to CNBC.

The layoffs, which primarily affected commercial operations and related corporate functions, are the latest turmoil for the robotaxi startup and come one day after Cruise dismissed nine “key leaders” for the company’s response to an Oct. 2 accident in which a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet by a Cruise self-driving car after being struck by another vehicle.

The company had 3,800 employees before Thursday’s cuts, which also follow a round of contractor layoffs at Cruise last month. Affected employees will receive paychecks until Feb. 12 and at least an additional eight weeks of pay, plus severance based on tenure.

In a statement, a Cruise spokesperson said, “We shared the difficult news that we are reducing our workforce, primarily in commercial operations and related corporate functions. These changes reflect our decision to focus on more deliberate commercialization plans with safety as our north star. We are supporting impacted Cruisers with strong severance and benefits packages and are grateful to the departing employees who played important roles in building Cruise and supporting our mission.”

A Cruise representative also told CNBC that the company’s goal is now to work on a fully driverless L4 service, as well as relaunching ride-hailing in one city to start.

GM added, “GM supports the difficult employment decisions made by Cruise as it reflects their more deliberate path forward, with safety as the north star. We are confident in the team and committed to supporting Cruise as they set the company up for long-term success with a focus on trust, accountability and transparency.”

A barrage of safety concerns and incidents have plagued Cruise, majority-owned by GM, since it received approval in August for round-the-clock robotaxi service in San Francisco.

Since the October accident, Cruise’s robotaxi fleet has been grounded, pending the results of independent safety probes; its leadership has been gutted; production of a new robotaxi has been halted; hundreds of vehicles have been recalled; and local and federal government officials have launched their own investigations, among other concerns.

In October, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended Cruise’s deployment and testing permits for its autonomous vehicles, alongside a statement that said, “When there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV can immediately suspend or revoke permits.”

Cruise’s decision to suspend all trips on public roads last month came after a board meeting at the company’s headquarters, after which it also announced a reorganization, more oversight from GM, an independent “safety expert” that would assess the company’s safety operations and an expanded probe into Cruise’s tech and safety systems by Exponent, the engineering consulting firm Cruise hired to analyze the Oct. 2 crash. Exponent’s investigation is still ongoing, according to Cruise.

Here is the email Cruise sent to employees:

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