Cruise, the self-driving car unit majority owned by General Motors Co., is laying off almost 8% of full-time employees to cut costs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company, which gets about $1 billion a year in funding from GM, went on a hiring spree in 2019 to bring in software-development talent and launch an autonomous ride-hailing service. But Cruise backed off plans to deploy autonomous taxis by the end of last year and had not set a new target date before the public-health crisis set in and forced companies in the space to slow their testing efforts on public roads.
Cruise will offer affected workers financial support to help them transition, plus health-care coverage through the end of the year, CEO Dan Ammann wrote in a staff memo, a portion of which was viewed by Bloomberg. The cuts mostly fall outside of the company’s engineering and core development teams.
“These are very difficult decisions to make, and we do not make them lightly,” Amman wrote….