A.G. Gangadhar, the Chief Technology Officer at Cruise Automation, will be resigning from the organization after less than half a year being with the country. Cruise Automation is the self-driving arm of General Motors Co.
Cruise and Gangadhar mutually decided he would leave, said Ray Wert, a spokesman for Cruise. “We wish him the best in all future endeavors,” Wert wrote in an emailed statement. In an email drafted by Gangadhar, he referenced that he had disagreements with Cruise Chief Executive Officer Vogt which resulted in his departing from the organization.
Cruise hired Gangadhar in September last year from Uber. At Uber, he served as an engineering executive and was in the spotlight due to criticism from female employees about Uber’s office culture. At the time, when Gangadhar was hired by GM, Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer who has written a widely read blog post about sexism-related issues at the company, illustrated GM’s hiring of Gangadhar as “troubling”. Throughout his short tenure at GM, he was pestered by public complaints about his part in allegedly fostering an inhospitable work environment for women when he was a part of Uber Technologies Inc.
“In this competitive time of autonomous vehicles, this is no small feat,” he wrote. “I left Cruise on good terms and only because Kyle and I had differing visions for the direction of the engineering team.” Gangadhar maintained that he was cleared of any misconduct at Uber and also stated that he helped Cruise hire “a seasoned woman executive” and two other vice presidents during his tenure at the company.
Gangadhar faced a lot of heat from female engineers who had worked under him at Uber. Ana Medina, a former Uber engineer, wrote on Twitter this month that she was surprised she was “getting recruited to work under the management of the same male that allowed for the toxic environment during my first year at Uber.” Having said that, she also included a screenshot of the recruitment email sent by Cruise.
Gangadhar said he now plans to spend his time advising and investing in startups. “This gives me the freedom to get back to what I’m passionate about: scaling teams and technologies and positioning them for success,” he wrote.