TuSimple Co-founder Resigns After Internal Probe Finds Him Poaching Top Employees For New Venture

  • On March 9, 2023, TuSimple’s co-founder Dr. Xiaodi Hou notified TuSimple Holdings Inc TSP that he was resigning from the board.
  • Before his resignation, TuSimple conducted an internal investigation into claims that Dr. Hou was approaching TuSimple employees about joining a new venture under Hou
  • Hou resigned while the investigation was ongoing.
  • A “whistleblower” informed upper management about Hou’s solicitations of employees over the past few months to join a company he was starting. 
  • Hou allegedly pressured certain employees to stop working so hard, either because they would soon join his new venture or because he wanted to see TuSimple company fail without him, TechCrunch reports citing familiar sources.
  • TuSimple began an internal investigation, confirming that Hou approached at least two employees, the top talent in “high tech” teams.
  • In November, TuSimple’s board fired Hou from his CEO, president, and CTO posts after discovering that TuSimple had transferred confidential information to Hydron, a hydrogen-powered trucking startup led by TuSimple co-founder and controlling shareholder Mo Chen. At the time, Hou said he was removed “without cause.”
  • TuSimple’s board had conducted its investigation in response to a probe from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). That investigation is still ongoing, and it has prompted potential criminal charges. 
  • In February, representatives of the CFIUS review panel urged the Justice Department to consider economic-espionage charges against Hou, Chen, and current CEO Cheng Lu.
  • Price Action: TSP shares are up 1.25% at $1.62 premarket on the last check Tuesday.
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