GM driverless vehicle brand Cruise promotes Aaron McLear to lead comms


Founded in 2013, Cruise became the first autonomous-vehicle brand to win permission to operate in a major metro area last year.

Cruise was founded in 2013 in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO: General Motors autonomous vehicle unit Cruise has named Aaron McLear as VP of communications.

McLear is reporting to COO Gil West. McLear is managing the internal and external comms teams as well as Cruise’s media analytics group, he said via email. 

The last person to lead comms at Cruise was Kristine Boyden, who left the company in March. She was not immediately available for comment. 

McLear has worked at Cruise since 2021. He was most recently senior director of comms; McLear will not be replaced in that role. 

Like Boyden, McLear is also an Edelman alum, having worked at the agency for nearly three years before joining Cruise. He started at the firm in 2018 as MD of public affairs and crisis for Edelman’s Western region and was promoted to U.S. chair of public affairs a year later.

Before that, McLear worked at Uber for two years and worked on Republican campaigns including Neel Kashkari’s 2014 California gubernatorial campaign and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. McLear was also press secretary for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and for the Republican National Committee. 

Cruise was founded in 2013 in San Francisco and was acquired by General Motors three years later. Last year, Cruise became the first autonomous-vehicle brand to win permission to operate in a major metro area when it launched robotaxis in San Francisco. The company acquired a license to charge for its taxi services in the city and has rolled out services in Austin and Phoenix.

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt told Automotive News last month that the company should achieve or surpass the $1 billion annual revenue threshold by 2025, though as of last year, GM was on track to spend $2 billion on the unit. 

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