June 17, 2021

Gp Delivers

The excellent automotive artisans

Krafcik leaves Waymo after 5 years as CEO

After five years as CEO of autonomous technology company Waymo, John Krafcik is stepping down.

Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov will succeed Krafcik as co-CEOs of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google subsidiary, Krafcik said in a LinkedIn statement Friday.

Mawakana and Dolgov currently serve as Waymo chief operating officer and chief technology officer, respectively.

“My time leading Waymo has been the capstone of my career,” Krafcik said in a blog post. “Together, we’ve achieved remarkable firsts as we develop, deploy, and commercialize our fully autonomous Waymo Driver, and work to make our roads safer and mobility more accessible.”

Krafcik said Mawakana and Dolgov “are an incredibly talented pair who are ideally suited for this moment.”

An industry veteran, Krafcik, 59, previously served as the president of TrueCar Inc., as well as president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. Krafcik also held various roles in product development at Ford.

Krafcik didn’t provide many details about his plans beyond serving as an adviser to Waymo. He and his wife will first enjoy a “refresh period where we look forward to reconnecting with old friends & family, and discovering new parts of the world,” he wrote.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, Krafcik said he has already moved to Austin, Texas, as part of his transition from the company. He was named Automotive News’ 2020 All Star for Mobility.

New co-CEOs

As COO, Mawakana has overseen business strategy, operations, marketing and communications and other areas at Waymo. Prior to joining Waymo, she served a variety of roles at eBay, Yahoo, AOL and more. Mawakana is a graduate of Trinity College and Columbia Law School.

She was a 2020 Automotive News Leading Women honoree.

Dolgov has served as CTO since 2017, for which he has led company autonomous technology development. He has prior experience working on autonomous driving efforts at Toyota and as part of Stanford’s DARPA Urban Challenge team.  

Dolgov is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the University of Michigan.  

“As we start this next chapter together, we could not be more excited and grateful to have the opportunity to lead this team and company as your co-CEOs,” the two said in the statement Friday. “We’re committed to working alongside you to build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver and drive the success of our incredible team and this company. We’re energized by the road and opportunity ahead of us.”

Waymo has made headlines in recent months; last month, the company released an analysis that reconstructed real-life fatal crashes using autonomous systems. Upon simulating the crashes, the company said its system avoided collisions in 84 of 91 scenarios examined.   

In January, the company said it would no longer use the phrase “self-driving.”