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Waymo announces senior appointments

Self-driving car developer Waymo has announced the appointment of its first Chief Safety Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, as it prepares to commercialise its services.

The company has appointed Deborah Hersman, currently CEO and President of the National Safety Council, to the newly-created position of Chief Safety Officer. In this role, Hersman will be responsible for field and systems safety across Waymo’s testing and development programme.

She will work closely with the company’s engineering, product and legal teams to oversee the design and enhancement of Waymo’s product safety programme.

The company has also appointed its first Chief Commercial Officer, Amee Chande, who joins Waymo from Alibaba Group, where she was Managing Director of global strategy and operations. She will lead business strategy, corporate development, operations and strategic partnerships for the firm.

“I’m proud to welcome two talented and experienced executives in the field of safety and business operations who will lead us into our next phase of growth,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo.

“As we begin to make our self-driving cars available to the public, safety will continue to be front-and-center of everything we do.

“Debbie has dedicated her career to safety and will lead our efforts to evolve our world-class safety program so we can deliver on our mission to make our roads safer.”

Commenting on her appointment, Hersman said: “Waymo is well known for its industry-leading technology and I’m excited to join the team to ensure we continue to build upon its world-class programs, continuously innovating and advancing the field of safety.”

“I’ve dedicated my career to promoting safety in our communities, and I’m joining Waymo because of the potential to make an even greater impact on reducing road injuries and fatalities.”