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The People Who Matter at Waymo

Interactive by Peter Schulz
Interactive by Peter Schulz

Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, is preparing to launch the first commercial ride-sharing service powered by self-driving vehicles with no human “safety” drivers as soon as this fall, according to two people briefed about the plan. (See this article about Waymo’s recent Phoenix experience.) Yet as it takes this crucial step, Waymo is grappling with discord in its upper ranks that has hurt morale in some areas.

Dmitri Dolgov, who runs software programming for Waymo and is a member of the unit’s old guard, has privately criticized the management of CEO John Krafcik, who was appointed in the fall of 2015, according to three people who have spoken to him or heard his comments. Among his complaints: Mr. Krafcik’s lack of technical knowledge about self-driving systems and how that affects bigger decisions on how to launch a commercial service.

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Another key person to watch is Robert Ellis, who leads Waymo’s Detroit area office, where engineers test vehicles in close proximity to Chrysler and other prospective partners. Adam Frost, who was a longtime Ford engineer, oversees Waymo’s technical collaborations with carmakers and frequently flies to Detroit and elsewhere, said people who have worked with him. Ahead of Waymo’s commercial launch of a ride-hailing service, Dan Chu’s product organization has had more work to do on “user experience”—how customers will interact with the driverless vehicles, such as flagging down the vehicles so that they arrive at the exact location where they are needed. The Information has mapped out 46 Waymo managers in the chart above.

A previous version of this article incorrectly said Waymo partnered with Hertz rather than Avis.

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Below are 46 of the top employees at Alphabet's autonomous vehicle unit, including Dmitri Dolgov's all-important software engineering group and the head of Waymo's Detroit-area vehicle testing facility, Robert Ellis. Ahead of Waymo's commercial launch of a ride-hailing service, Dan Chu's product organization has had more work to do on "user experience." Last updated October 2, 2017

John Krafcik


John Krafcik’s Organization

Dmitri Dolgov


Tekedra Mawakana


Ron Medford

Head of Safety

Robert Ellis

Vehicle Engineering (Testing)

Satish Jeyachandran


Dan Chu

Product, User Experience

Shaun Stewart

Operations, Business Development, Strategy

YJ Ahn

Industrial Design

Kevin Vosen

General Counsel

Gerard Dwyer


Adam Frost

OEM Collaborations

Johnny Luu

Public Relations

Meiling Tan


Joanne Chin

People Operations

Dmitri Dolgov’s organization


Nathaniel Fairfield

Motion Planning

Andrew Chatham

Infrastructure for Data/Maps

Ryan Andrade

Systems Architecture

Sacha Arnoud


Jaime Waydo

Systems Engineering

James Stout


Robert Ellis’ organization


Stephanie Villegas

Structured Testing Lead

Nicholas George

Vehicle Test Reliability

Noah Lassar

Head of Reliability

Satish Jeyachandran’s organization


Pierre-Yves Droz

Lidar Development

Andrew Schultz

Hardware Development

Dan Chu’s organization


Saswat Panigrahi

Senior Product Manager

Juliet Rothenberg

Product Manager, User Experience

Chris Ludwick

Product Manager, Computer Vision

Gabriel Trionfi

User Experience Research Lead

Vijaysai Patnaik

Product Manager, Perception

Laurens Feenstra

Product Manager

Michael Epstein

Product Manager

Min Li Chan

Product Manager, User Interface

Shaun Stewart’s organization


Ted Ludwick

Real Estate

Summer (Waggoner) Fetterman

Supplier Development

Tim Papandreou


YJ Ahn’s organization


Peter Crandell

Lead Designer

Kevin Vosen’s organization


Amar Mehta

Associate General Counsel

Thomas Lue

Associate General Counsel

Gerard Dwyer’s organization


Sherry House

Financial Planning

Johnny Luu’s organization


Lauren Barriere

Product Communications

Haley Morris

Policy Communications

Joanne Chin’s organization


Colleen Ryan


Margot Russ


Tekedra Mawakana’s organization


David Quinalty

Federal Policy and Government Affairs

Quick Facts

  • Company has less than 1,000 employees.
  • Project started in 2009 under Google.
  • Longest-running commercial effort to develop fully autonomous vehicles.
  • Spun out of Google in late 2016.
  • Alphabet co-founder Sergey Brin previously oversaw the project.
  • Company now overseen by Alphabet CEO Larry Page.