TuSimple appoints CFO after firing co-founder and CEO Xiaodi Hou due to links to a Chinese startup
TuSimple announced today it has appointed interim financial chief Eric Tapia on a permanent basis and reconstituted its audit committee. The announcement comes weeks after the autonomous-driving trucking company fired its co-founder and CEO Xiaodi Hou after an internal probe revealed links to a Chinese startup.
The firing of Hou came a day after The Wall Street Journal published a report citing unnamed sources that TuSimple was facing probes from multiple federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).
In conjunction with the appointment of Eric Tapia, TuSimple also announced on Friday it had appointed three new independent board members last week. Tapia, who joined TuSimple in 2021, has been the interim chief financial officer since July 7.
“With the appointment of Eric as permanent CFO, three new independent board members in the last week, the reconstitution of the Board’s Audit Committee and other board committees, we’re moving forward with our plan to restore accountability and transparency to this company,” CEO Lu said.
TuSimple later reappointed former chief executive Cheng Lu as its new CEO last month after the board probe found that TuSimple had a relationship with Hydron, a startup working on autonomous trucks mostly in China led by TuSimple co-founder Chen and backed by Chinese investors. The investigation also found that some TuSimple employees spent paid hours last year working for Hydron.
We’ve covered the self-driving truck firm for some time. Early this year, TuSimple became the world’s first company to complete more than 550 miles of fully driverless truck driving on public roads without a human driver behind the wheel.
Founded in 2015 by Jianan Hao, Mo Chen, and Xiaodi Hou, the San Diego-based TuSimple is a global self-driving truck company. The startup is developing a commercial-ready Level 4 (SAE) fully autonomous driving solution for the logistics industry. TuSimple’s trucks are the first and only capable of self-driving from depot to depot and do so every day for its customers.
Before going public, the startup raised $120 million in funding at to expand long-haul service for fleets and co-develop a commercial self-driving truck with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Today, the U.S. trucking industry is estimated to be around $1 trillion.