Cruise, G.M.’s Self-Driving Subsidiary, Names Marc Whitten as C.E.O.

Cruise, the driverless car subsidiary of General Motors, said on Tuesday that a veteran of the video game industry will become its new chief executive officer, eight months after its previous C.E.O. resigned following a string of safety issues with its vehicles.

The appointment of Marc Whitten, who was most recently an executive for the video game technology company Unity, follows a tumultuous year for Cruise, which was ordered by California regulators in October to pull its fleet of vehicles off the road after a series of traffic mishaps. The worst incident was on Oct. 2, when a pedestrian was dragged underneath a Cruise car on a San Francisco street.

Cruise has since laid off a quarter of its work force and pushed out nine executives.

Mr. Whitten, who will take over on July 16, was also a founding engineer at Xbox and general manager at Amazon. He will join Mo Elshenawy, Cruise’s president and chief technology officer, and Craig Glidden, Cruise’s president and chief administrative officer, who were appointed by Cruise’s board in November to lead the company following the resignation of Kyle Vogt, Cruise’s previous C.E.O.

Marc Whitten was most recently an executive for the video game technology company Unity.Credit…Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Penske Media, via Getty Images

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime to be part of this transformation,” Mr. Whitten said in a statement. “The team at Cruise has built world-class technology, and I look forward to working with them to help bring this critical mission to life.”

Since Mr. Vogt’s resignation, Cruise has been slow to restart its operations, a far cry from its rapid expansion into 15 cities across 10 states a year ago. In May, Cruise executives told The New York Times that they were in no rush to get back on the road, and that safety was Cruise’s “North Star.”

G.M. acquired Cruise for $1.6 billion in 2016.

Cruise also hired Nick Mulholland, who worked for the electric car maker Rivian, as its new chief communications and marketing officer. Mr. Elshenawy and Mr. Glidden will stay with the company and report to Mr. Whitten, the company said in a statement.

In a separate announcement, G.M. appointed Grant Dixton, who also comes from the video game industry, as its new executive vice president and chief legal and public policy officer. Mr. Dixton previously worked for Activision Blizzard in a senior leadership role.

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