The autonomous trucking sector had a big shock sent through their system on Monday as TuSimple co-founder and CEO Xaidoi Hou was shown the door. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) and TuSimple’s own board of directors had launched multiple investigations into the action of Hou in regards to possible exchange of its U.S. intellectual property with Hydron, a China-backed company started by Hou’s co-founder, Mo Chen.
Everyone is at Hou’s door wanting to have a word with him
As you can see, almost the entire financial law enforcement arm of the U.S. justice system wants a small word with the former CEO of TuSimple. Remember, they are still being investigated about the incident on Interstate 10, where a TuSimple autonomous truck crashes into the median barrier at highway speed.
Now, TuSimple has a lot more fire underneath them as they are now under investigations into the possible transfer of technology to Hydron. That company was founded after Chen left TuSimple in March, when the company was targeted by CFIUS over some board members being involved with another Chinese company, Sina Corp.
In the interim, as TuSimple begins an executive leadership search, Ersin Yumer, executive vice president of operations, will serve as interim CEO and president. Yumer joined TuSimple when he left rival Aurora 15 months ago, rocketing up the corporate ranks.
Many eyes are on TuSimple, not just due to the legal troubles, but as a leader in truck automation. With over 100 trucks, they are racking up self-driven miles as other companies are still in the “crawling stages” of getting their prototypes moving.