Transitioning From Research & Development To Production

Zoox-CEO-reorganization

Forbes Alan Transportation editor Alan Ohnsman has a short interview with Zoox CEO Aicha Evans that is mostly about vague restructuring at Zoox.

“The company..isn’t making headcount reductions as part of the business review, though some early Zoox employees are leaving, Evans tells Forbes.”

I find the kicker of the article really interesting.

Zoox currently has about 1,500 employees and isn’t planning to reduce that number though some “early, prominent Zoox people” are leaving the company, Evans said, without identifying individual team members. 

“We’re celebrating them, we’re thanking them for that first phase,” she said. For some, the company’s initial period was probably more fun than where the company finds itself now. “This phase, it’s a little less sexy, it’s more grindy. But this is what gives you the stripes to actually build a company that ships products and changes society.”

That seems correct to me. Different people thrive at different stages of a company. The folks who are interested in taking on a science project are often different than the people who want to manage the profit and loss statement of a business.

Science projects are also a lot riskier, so if one does pay off, it should pay off big. I don’t know if that happened at Zoox or not, due to their fundraising challenges. But presumably the current leaders seeing Zoox through to shipping product have a good sense of the business’s viability.

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