Cheng Lu, CEO of TuSimple, has also been appointed as a new member of the board.

Cheng Lu, CEO of TuSimple, has also been appointed as a new member of the board.

Photo: TuSimple

Autonomous truck developer TuSimple announced in a statement the appointment of a permanent chief executive officer and changes to its board of directors.

Xiaodi Hou, TuSimple CEO, president and chief technology officer, was fired Oct. 30 as a result of an internal investigation that began in July. The Wall Street Journal also reported that TuSimple was facing federal Security and Exchange Commission investigations into whether it improperly financed and transferred technology to a Chinese startup. At issue is TuSimple’s relationship with Hydron Inc., started in 2021 by founder Mo Chen.

The company announced that Cheng Lu is returning to TuSimple as CEO and president. Lu previously served as CEO from September 2020 to March 2022, a period of milestones for TuSimple, including the launch of the Autonomous Freight Network, key partnership deals, and a successful IPO. 

Lu replaced Ersin Yumer, TuSimple's executive vice president of operations, who had been serving as the interim CEO and president of the company.

"I'm returning as TuSimple's CEO with a sense of urgency to put our company back on track," said Lu in a statement. "We've dealt with turmoil this past year, and it's critical that we stabilize operations, regain the trust of our stakeholders, and provide the talented team at TuSimple with the support and leadership they deserve.

"I look forward to the opportunity to execute on our vision, which hasn't wavered since we started this company seven years ago, and I am committed to being open and transparent on our progress as we move forward."

The company also announced that Mo Chen, a cofounder and major shareholder of TuSimple, has been named executive chairman of the board. Cheng Lu has also been appointed as a new member of the board. The board has plans to make subsequent appointments of new independent board members as soon as possible.

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