Waymo Fills Finance Chief Role as Autonomous-Vehicle Company Looks to Expand

Waymo LLC hired a new finance chief as the autonomous-vehicle company works to boost self-driving capabilities and expand in multiple regions.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc.,

on Friday said it named Elisa de Martel as chief financial officer. Mrs. de Martel, who will start Monday, succeeds Gerard Dwyer, who left in May 2021 after nearly five years as CFO.

The company’s interim head of finance and its controller have covered the company’s finances while Waymo looked for a permanent CFO, according to a spokeswoman. “It was a competitive market,” she said. “We wanted to take our time and find the right fit.”

Elisa de Martel


Photo:

Waymo

Mrs. de Martel joins Waymo from Carbon Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based 3D-printing technology company where she was CFO since 2018. She previously held various financial roles at tech giant Apple Inc. for 11 years, ultimately serving as director of manufacturing finance.

As CFO, Ms. de Martel will focus on helping the company expand as it looks to continue developing its autonomous-driving technology across various regions and vehicle platforms, the spokeswoman said. “Elisa is really here to help us scale our business through our next phase of growth,” she said.

Waymo has raised more than $5.7 billion from investors and Alphabet to date, including $2.5 billion in June 2021.

The company since 2017 has been operating autonomous cars in the Phoenix area’s East Valley. In 2020 it opened rides up to the public in Chandler, Ariz., and made them fully autonomous. It began operating autonomous vehicles in downtown Phoenix in August.

Waymo in March said it would offer fully autonomous rides in San Francisco to its employees only, its first attempt at sending self-driving vehicles into a major city. Two months earlier, Waymo’s biggest competitor— General Motors Co.

subsidiary Cruise—began offering driverless rides to the public in San Francisco.

Waymo does not have a permit to offer rides to the general public in California, the spokeswoman said. She declined to comment on the current status of permit applications.

The company previously piloted a robotaxi service in San Francisco that used human drivers who could take control of the vehicle if needed. Waymo since 2017 also has tested its driverless technology in semitrucks.

No matter how many real-world miles driverless cars experience, it’s unlikely they’ll come up against all of the rare and dangerous incidents they could encounter. So now, driverless car companies have turned to hyper-realistic virtual worlds to safely test their cars against some of the most extreme scenarios. Illustration: George Downs

Write to Jennifer Williams-Alvarez at [email protected]

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