Founder of Ford-owned Chariot out as CEO

Ali Vahabzadeh, seen speaking in a YouTube video by Intel at 2017’s SXSW festival last year.

The co-founder of Chariot, a San Francisco-based ride-sharing service owned by Ford Motor Co., has stepped down as its CEO.

Ali Vahabzadeh announced his departure in a blog post two weeks ago, adding that he’ll continue to provide consulting services to the company and will remain on Chariot’s board of directors.

“While it’s unthinkably hard to leave this team and the daily work we’re doing to deliver our mission worldwide, I know we have built an incredibly capable organization that is ready to take it to the next level with the support of our parent company,” he said. “As for me, I’m really looking forward to finding my next inspiration and creating something once again from scratch.”

Dan Grossman, who leads microtransit for Ford Smart Mobility, will fill in as interim CEO.

“We thank Ali for his passion and dedication to building Chariot into the growing mobility business it is today,” Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s president of mobility, said in a statement released this week. “We are glad he will continue to serve Chariot as a director on the Chariot board, and all wish him well in his next adventure.”

Ford bought Chariot in September 2016. The shuttle service, which Vahabzadeh helped start in 2014, has since expanded to a number of cities around the globe, including New York, Seattle, Austin, Columbus, and London.

Ford said in January that Chariot would undergo a “major shift in focus” to provide employee transportation services for businesses.