Cruise, GM’s self-driving car subsidiary, which is also supported by the SoftBank Vision Fund, Automakers Honda and T. Rowe Price & Associates today lay off nearly 8% of their more than 1,800 employees to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The layoffs affect employees in Cruise’s product, marketing, and carpool businesses. This comes from a memo sent by Cruise CEO Dan Ammann and viewed by TechCrunch. Bloomberg was the first to report the cuts.
Dismissed employees are offered severance payments and their health care benefits will be paid by the company until the end of the year, according to the announcement.
Cruise spokesman Milin Mehta confirmed the cuts.
“In this time of great change, we are lucky to have a crystal-clear mission and billions in the bank. The measures that we have taken today reflect that we have doubled our engineering work and our engineering talent,”
The layoffs are part of a broader strategy set out in the memo to move resources to where they are most needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise also closes its office in Pasadena, California, where it worked on Lidar. The Lidar team is moved to the San Francisco office.
Even if layoffs occur, Cruise will continue to hire engineers, according to the memo.
The company will “continue to employ aggressively in the most critical areas of engineering, which currently means doubling leadership and IC leadership positions to further support the improvement of the core technology goal,” Ammann wrote in the memo. “From here, we expect to be able to recruit and expand our engineering teams for the rest of the year.”