Autos

GM's Cruise self-driving unit beefs up board with executive who ran advanced research for Google, Facebook, DoD

Key Points
  • Cruise has added Regina E. Dugan to its board of directors.
  • Dugan has served as the head of Google's Advanced Technology and Products Group and the director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
  • Dugan's appointment to the board was effective December 2019, however the company did not make it public until Tuesday.
Regina Dugan
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Cruise, a majority-owned self-driving subsidiary of General Motors, has added prominent inventor and tech executive Regina E. Dugan to its board of directors, the company said Tuesday.

Dugan has served as the head of Google's Advanced Technology and Products Group and lead Facebook's hardware group, known as Building 8, including a project for controlling computers via mind control.

She also worked as director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is responsible for the development of emerging technologies.

She currently serves as CEO of Wellcome Leap, a $300 million not-for-profit organization founded by Wellcome Trust to accelerate innovations that benefit global health.

The addition of Dugan to Cruise's board is a positive boost for the company, which is working on launching driverless vehicle fleets, starting in San Francisco. It was expected to launch its first fleet last year but delayed those plans due to safety and software concerns.

Cruise Origin driverless shuttle
Cruise

"In health care and in transportation, I believe in the power of science and technology to change our world," Dugan said in a statement. "With this power comes the responsibility to deliver life-saving advances at scale -- Cruise has the tech, the team, and the tenacity to get it done. I'm stoked to join."

Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said Dugan's "experience in building technology that is both moonshot in its aspiration as well as mission critical in its execution is a perfect fit for our work at Cruise and we're thrilled to have her join the mission," according to a statement.

Cruise was acquired by GM in 2016. Since then, the company has raised $7.25 billion from investors including Honda Motor, SoftBank Vision Fund and T. Rowe Price Associates.

Dugan's appointment to the board was effective December 2019, however the company did not make it public until Tuesday.

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