After five and a half years of running Alphabet fully autonomous driving The unit, Waymo CEO John Krafcik plans to hand over the management of the company to two of his colleagues. Krafcik said on Friday he was leaving Waymo in the hands of Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov. The two executives were previously COO and CTO respectively of the company. They have also been with Waymo for several years, with Dolgov’s tenure dating back to 2009, when the unit was still under the umbrella of Google. The move is also notable in that it places a woman of color at the helm of one of the world’s leading autonomous vehicle technology companies.
Krafcik says he will continue to serve as an advisor to Waymo, but it also appears he wants to take a break from the tech world. “For starters, I look forward to a period of refreshment, reconnecting with old friends and family, and discovering new parts of the world,” he said in the blog post announcing his departure. Krafcik then described his time at Waymo as the “cornerstone” of his career.
As CNBC RemarksOne of the defining aspects of Krafcik’s time at Waymo was the measured approach he took to expansion. It was only recently that the company opened its Waymo One service at Public phoenix and started vehicle testing in San Francisco. When interviewing the media, Krafcik often stressed the importance of making autonomous vehicles as safe as possible. “Part of our responsibility at Waymo is to make sure that the world, the cities we work in and the regulators who regulate those cities understand our technology,” he told the network shortly after a vehicle autonomous Uber tested in Arizona hit and killed a pedestrian in 2018.
In inheriting from Waymo, Mawakana and Dolgov seek to continue the work that Krafcik started and, through sounds, speed it up as well. “We are committed to working alongside you to build, deploy and market the Waymo pilot and drive the success of our incredible team and this company,” the two said in a joint statement. “We are energized by the road and the opportunities that lie ahead.”