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April 2, 2021 3:45 PM, EDT

Waymo CEO John Krafcik to Step Down, Become Adviser

Former Waymo CEO John Krafcik speaks during a conference in California in 2018. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)Former Waymo CEO John Krafcik speaks during a conference in California in 2018. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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John Krafcik stepped down as chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo self-driving vehicle division, and will stay on as an adviser to the business, the company said in a memo.

Krafcik, 59, will be replaced by Tekedra Mawakana, Waymo’s chief operating officer, and Dmitri Dolgov, chief technical officer, who will serve as co-CEOs. Mawakana was named COO in 2019, and earlier in her career held senior roles at AOL, Yahoo, and EBay. Dolgov had been CTO since late 2016 and previously held roles as an engineer at Google and a researcher at Toyota Research Institute, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before taking the reins as Waymo CEO in 2015, Krafcik held senior executive roles at Truecar Inc. and Hyundai Motor America. Replacing an auto industry veteran with executives more steeped in technology could help Waymo focus development on driverless rides and other applications and push to generate revenue faster.

RELATED: Waymo Provides Look Inside Self-Driving Truck Testing

Waymo started offering self-driving services without a test driver in Arizona late last year. The company also raised $2.25 billion from a slate of private equity investors, venture capitalists and automotive companies last year, taking outside funds for the first time.

“After 5½ exhilarating years leading this team, I’ve decided to depart from my CEO role with Waymo and kick off new adventures,” Krafcik said in the memo. “To start, I’m looking forward to a refresh period, reconnecting with old friends and family, and discovering new parts of the world.”

Waymo confirmed the move on Twitter, thanking Krafcik for leading the company’s autonomous technology development for the past five years.

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