The boss of Google’s driverless car division, Waymo, is stepping down after five and a half years in charge.
In a blog post, John Krafcik (pictured) has written that after an “exhilarating” time leading this team, he’s decided to “kick-off new adventures”.
“To start, I’m looking forward to a refresh period, reconnecting with old friends and family, and discovering new parts of the world,” he writes. “I’ll continue to serve as an advisor to Waymo, as you expand the world’s first autonomous public ride-hailing service, Waymo One, and ramp our autonomous delivery product with Waymo Via.
“Going forward, two extraordinary leaders, Dmitri Dolgov and Tekedra Mawakana will take the helm at Waymo as co-CEOs. Tekedra and Dmitri are an incredibly talented pair who are ideally suited for this moment. Waymo’s new co-CEOs bring complementary skill sets and experiences – most recently as COO and CTO respectively – and have already been working together in close partnership for years in top executive positions at Waymo. Dmitri and Tekedra have my full confidence and support, and of course, the full confidence of Waymo’s board and Alphabet leadership.
“My time leading Waymo has been the capstone of my career. Together, we’ve achieved remarkable firsts as we develop, deploy, and commercialise our fully autonomous Waymo Driver, and work to make our roads safer and mobility more accessible. The Waymo Driver has driven autonomously tens of millions of miles on public roads across 25 U.S. cities, and more than 20 billion miles in simulation; safely gets anyone in Phoenix with the Waymo One app to their destinations across thousands of miles each week; and is unlocking convenience and scale for our local delivery and freight partners through Waymo Via. We launched Waymo as an independent Alphabet subsidiary, partnered with an amazing group of OEM, supplier, and service companies, and raised our first external investment round of $3.25 billion. As co-CEOs, Tekedra and Dmitri will continue to drive Waymo’s technical and business leadership in the rapidly advancing autonomous industry.”
He concludes, “Waymonauts, you are the strongest, smartest, most experienced and most capable team in the space. Thank you for entrusting me with this phase of our journey, and for taking care of our next chapter. It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve on this mission together with you.”
(Picture – Waymo)