Waymo has just hired Tawni Nazario-Cranz as its new Chief People Officer. Her former positions were at Netflix and Cruise Automation, which gives her a bit of an interesting background for working at Waymo. While Cruise Automation is a self-driving car company (that is now owned by General Motors), Netflix doesn’t really compute with what Waymo is doing. As Chief People Officer, she Nazario-Cranz will be responsible for hiring at Waymo, and helping to shape the company’s culture and diversity initiatives. These are important to virtually all of the companies under the Alphabet umbrella, including Waymo. Nazario-Cranz will be reporting to Waymo’s CEO John Krafick directly.
In the past year, Waymo has really turned a new leaf, after finishing up its trial with Uber – where Uber allegedly stole some of Waymo’s plans for LiDAR systems and ended up getting a stake in Uber. The company has already begun using its self-driving mini-vans to pick up people in the Phoenix area, and is planning to expand this to more cities in the coming months and years. Waymo already has nearly 62,000 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica’s in its fleet, as part of the deal that it was able to do with Fiat Chrysler a few years ago. And now it is also looking to add some other vehicles into its fleet, including the Jaguar I-Pac, and that is because it is an electric car.
Waymo, formerly Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, has the most experience with self-driving cars on the roads, having driven more miles autonomous and also having fewer accidents. Now with Nazario-Cranz joining the team, Waymo will likely be hiring a good number of others to work at the company. Nazario-Cranz is essentially the head of human relations over at Waymo, but being a Google company, the company did give here a more interesting title, of “Chief People Officer”.