Alphabet Waymo self-driving unit CEO stepping down

Waymo CEO John Krafcik talks during an unveiling of the Jaguar I-PACE self-driving car by Waymo in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - The head of Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) self-driving unit Waymo said on Friday he was stepping down as chief executive and would be replaced by a pair of executives.

John Krafcik, a long-time auto industry executive who has headed Waymo for more than five years, will stay on as an advisor, the company said.

"This is a choice John has made after a long and successful career in the automotive industry," Waymo said in statement.

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Dmitri Dolgov, one of the founders of the Google self-driving car project and Tekedra Mawakana, who was Waymo's chief operating officer and has worked at a number of tech firms, will serve as co-CEOs, the company said.

"We’re committed to working alongside you to build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver," the co-CEOs said in the statement.

Waymo, which was formed in 2009 as a project within Alphabet's Google unit, is widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology. But Waymo is still years away from building large-scale businesses, while their rival Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has been selling its semi-automated driving system.

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Reporting by David Shepardson

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