GM Cruise: We Have To Talk About Your Shitty Workplace Situation

Many talk about self-driving cars and want to contribute to it. So what’s a better option than working at one of those companies that are trying to tackle that really hard problem and be spearheading this technology?

That’s what a number of job seekers were thinking too, when they received job offers from GM Cruise. GM Cruise is the unit that was formed after the acquisition of Cruise Automation by General Motors. The aim is to develop autonomous vehicles. And the entity is very active. Alone in San Francisco more than one hundred of its cars are on the road and try solving that hard problem at one of the most difficult places. And this with some success, as the Disengagement Repot 2018 shows, where GM Cruise is 2nd only to Waymo.

But as if hilly and bad streets, and crazy traffic were not enough, there seems to be a different problem that’s plaguing the company: workplace culture.

If you believe the responses by anonymous posters on the career website Team Blind, then the workplace satisfaction at GM Cruise seems to be in the gutter. One job seeker, who asked for advice on offers he received from Airbnb and GM Cruise, was almost unanimously told not to join GM Cruise. Its workplace culture is described as dysfunctional, toxic and political.

Anonymous posters are actually employees of the companies that they are posting about. They have to verify their employment by using their workplace email and then receive an anonymous account, verifying them as company insiders.

Independent of which thread you look at involving GM Cruise (like here, here and here as a small sample), the sentiment is all the same. GM Cruise is a ‘shit show’, is ‘dysfunctional’, highly ‘political’, riddled by both ‘inexperienced’ and bad management as well as inexperienced and bad engineering with high levels of ‘technical debt’, and high ‘attrition rates’. Working there is only recommended if you ‘want to experience first hand’ how bad the company culture is. Of course, the situation is different for each team, but some things are just flooding into the good teams as well and cannot be simply ignored.

The sentiments about GM Cruise’s competitors such as Waymo, Zoox or Voyage are different. At least not as bad as we read about GM Cruise.

Which brings me to the question: WTF, GM Cruise? Is this true? True or not, this is devastating either way. How do you want to attract the best talents and tackle that hard problem of autonomous driving, if you can’t get your company culture solved – or at least the public perception of it? How far could you be, if your own employees were happy there and helped you to attract the best talent, and not only those, who ran out of options?

Kyle Vogt, Mary Barra: are you part of the solution or the problem? What are your approaches for solving that hard pressing issue? It’d be such a pity, if your mission failed because of an absolutely solvable issue. GM Cruise: Get your shit together!

This article was also published in German.


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