TuSimple co-founder Xiaodi Hou said last week that the company had been killed in an internal investigation seeking to verify claims that Hou had suggested to a TuSimple employee to quit the company and join his new venture. resigned from the board of directors. SEC filing.
A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that a “whistleblower” informed upper management that over the past few months Hou had solicited employees to join a company he founded. rice field. Hou allegedly pressured certain employees to stop working hard. The reason is that they wanted to join his new venture soon or see the self-driving truck company fail without him, sources say.
TuSimple launched an internal investigation, during which it confirmed that at least two employees (top talent on the “tech” team) had been approached by Hou, but before TuSimple could complete the investigation, the co-founder resigned from the board of directors.
TuSimple has not decided whether to proceed with the investigation, but if it does, it will determine whether other employees have been compromised.
Hou did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment, but the co-founder could indeed be accused of having an axe. TuSimple board dismisses Hou Hydron, led by TuSimple co-founder and controlling shareholder Mo Chen and backed by Chinese investors, said his CEO, From the posts of the President, and CTO.
At the time, Hou said he was dismissed “without reason” and said the board’s process and conclusions were “questionable at best.”
“As the facts come to light, I am confident that my decision as CEO and Chairman, and our vision for TuSimple, will be justified. LinkedIn post in November.
TuSimple’s Board of Directors conducted its own investigation in response to an inquiry from the Commission on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS can screen foreign investments for national security concerns, impose safeguards, and recommend that the President block certain investments. The Biden administration is actively working to block US technology from improving China’s military power, including the use of self-driving cars.
That investigation is still ongoing, prompting potential criminal charges.Representatives on the CFIUS Review Board last month appealed to the Justice Department Consider economic espionage charges against Hou and Chen and current CEO Cheng Lu.
Lu, who served as CEO of TuSimple from September 2020 to March 2022, was sacked. He returned to helm in November. At the same time, four independent directors were removed from the board and Mr. Chen was appointed as the executive chairman of the board.
TuSimple likely hopes Hou’s resignation will help close the chapter on the company’s national security investigation, but TuSimple has other concerns. Earlier this month, the company Received a non-compliance warning Nasdaq for failing to deliver its fourth quarter 2022 and full year 2022 financial results on time. TuSimple is still hiring new auditors after KPMG resigned due to company risk factors, sources say. The company hopes to report earnings by May, the deadline given by the Nasdaq to restore compliance.
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