Cruise, the self-driving car subsidiary of GM that also has backing from SoftBank Vision Fund, automaker Honda and T. Rowe Price & Associates, is laying off nearly 8% of its more than 1,800-member workforce today as it tries to reduce costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The layoffs will affect employees in Cruise’s product, marketing and rideshare business units, according to a memo sent by Cruise CEO Dan Ammann and viewed by TechCrunch. Bloomberg was the first to report the cuts.
Employees who are laid off will be offered severance and their healthcare benefits will be paid for by the company through the end of the year, according to the memo.
Cruise spokesman Milin Mehta confirmed the cuts.
“In this time of great change, we’re fortunate to have a crystal clear mission and billions in the bank. The actions we took today reflect us doubling down on our engineering work and engineering talent,” Mehta, said in an emailed statement.
The layoffs are part of a broader strategy outlined in the memo to shift resources to where they are needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise is also closing its Pasadena, Calif. office, where it worked on lidar. The lidar team will be moved to the San Francisco office.
Even as layoffs occur, Cruise will continue hiring engineers, according to the memo.
The company will “continue to hire aggressively in the most critical areas within engineering, which right now means doubling down on senior leadership and senior IC roles to further support out improving core tech objective,” Ammann wrote in the memo. “From here we expect to recruit and grow across our engineering teams for the balance of the year.”