clearn.png
Sunday September 19th, 2021 1:13AM

CEO of Google's self-driving car spinoff steps down from job

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — The executive who steered the transformation of Google's self-driving car project into a separate company worth billions of dollars is stepping down after more than five years on the job.

John Krafcik announced his departure as CEO of Waymo, a company spun out from Google, in a Friday blog post that cited his desire to enjoy life as the world emerges from the pandemic.

“I'm looking forward to a refresh period, reconnecting with old friends and family, and discovering new parts of the world," Krafcik, 59, wrote.

Two of Krafcik's top lieutenants will replace him as co-CEOs. Dmitri Dolgov, who has been working on self-driving cars since Waymo began within Google in 2009, will focus on the technology for the autonomous vehicles. Tekedra Mawakana, a lawyer who had been Waymo's chief operating officer, will handle the business side of the operation.

Krafcik will remain an adviser to Waymo, a company that established itself as the clear leader in autonomous driving since Google hired him in 2015. Not long after that, Google's self-driving division morphed into Waymo, a company owned by Alphabet, which is also Google's parent.

Under Krafcik's leadership, Waymo forged partnerships with several major automakers and launched the first ride-hailing service to pick up passengers without a driver or anyone else in the vehicles. That service, called Waymo One, only operates in the Phoenix metropolitan area, but Waymo plans to expand into other markets as the company continues to refine a technology that is expected to transform the auto industry.

Waymo's inroads have left it with an estimated market value of about $30 billion, based on analyst estimates made last year after the company raised $2.25 billion in its first round of investments from outside Alphabet. Waymo subsequently received $1 billion from outside investors to close that round of financing. But last year's estimated $30 billion valuation was down dramatically from 2018 when a Morgan Stanley research report estimated Waymo was worth about $175 billion.

The huge swing reflects the challenges of building self-driving cars that can navigate the roads safely while still dealing with traditional vehicles under the control of humans. That task has proven far more difficult than Waymo and dozens of other companies working on self-driving technology envisioned five or six years ago.

For all its progress in autonomous driving, Waymo isn't believed to have ever made money during Krafcik's reign. Waymo doesn't disclose its financial results. It operates within an segment of Alphabet called “Other Bets" that includes several other far-flung projects financed by the huge profits generated from Google's digital advertising empire.

Alphabet's “Other Bets" have lost nearly $13 billion during the past three years.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
AP Sources: NCAA has not tested for drugs at championships
The Associated Press has learned that the NCAA has not tested players for performance-enhancing drugs at March Madness and other recent college championships
3:37PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: Poll: People reluctant to get vaccine dose in US
The race is on to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against COVID-19, but a significant number of people in the U.S. are still reluctant to get the shots, even in places where they are plentiful
3:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Man rams car into 2 Capitol police; 1 officer, driver killed
A Capitol Police officer has been killed after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife
3:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Alabama, last in nation, opens shots to over 16
Residents 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in Alabama on Monday, expanding an immunization program that ranks last in the nation
3:02PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Protests grow in Italy over the wiretapping of journalists
Italian journalists and lawmakers are protesting the wiretapping of reporters' phone calls during Italian investigations into Libya-based migrant traffickers
2:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Car rams 2 officers at Capitol barricade; driver shot dead
Two law enforcement officials say a man rammed a car into two Capitol Police officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol before being shot to death by authorities when he climbed out of the vehicle while appearing to brandish a knife
2:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Biden's 'jobs Cabinet' to sell infrastructure as GOP resists
President Joe Biden says Republicans have talked for years about the need to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and predicts GOP lawmakers will face pressure from their supporters if they don’t act
12:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
Tesla 1Q sales of 185K more than double last year's numbers
Tesla delivered nearly 185,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter despite a shortage of computer chips that has hit the global auto industry
10:16AM ( 5 hours ago )
Corporate criticism of GOP-led voting bills spreads to Texas
The ranks of big corporations now criticizing GOP efforts to restrict voting access are spreading to Texas
8:53PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
AP Sources: NCAA has not tested for drugs at championships
The Associated Press has learned that the NCAA has not tested players for performance-enhancing drugs at March Madness and other recent college championships
3:37PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Poll: People reluctant to get vaccine dose in US
The race is on to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against COVID-19, but a significant number of people in the U.S. are still reluctant to get the shots, even in places where they are plentiful
3:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Man rams car into 2 Capitol police; 1 officer, driver killed
A Capitol Police officer has been killed after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol and then emerged wielding a knife
3:35PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Moderation, sometimes, for Georgia GOP despite voting law
Amid intense criticism over Georgia’s voting law, Georgia Republicans are showing caution on other issues
3:34PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Lieutenant: Kneeling on Floyd's neck 'totally unnecessary'
The head of the Minneapolis Police Department's homicide division has testified that kneeling on the neck of someone who is handcuffed and lying on his stomach is top-tier, deadly force and “totally unnecessary.”
3:30PM ( 25 minutes ago )