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UPDATE 1-Alphabet Waymo self-driving unit CEO stepping down

(Add company statement)

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - The head of Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo said on Friday he was stepping down as chief executive and would be replaced by a pair of executives.

John Krafcik, a long-time auto industry executive who has headed Waymo for more than five years, will stay on as an advisor, the company said. “This is a choice John has made after a long and successful career in the automotive industry,” Waymo said in statement.

Dmitri Dolgov, one of the founders of the Google self-driving car project and Tekedra Mawakana, who was Waymo’s chief operating officer and has worked at a number of tech firms, will serve as co-CEOs, the company said.

“We’re committed to working alongside you to build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver,” the co-CEOs said in the statement.

Waymo, which was formed in 2009 as a project within Alphabet’s Google unit, is widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology. But Waymo is still years away from building large-scale businesses, while their rival Tesla Inc has been selling its semi-automated driving system. (Reporting by David Shepardson and Hyunjoo Jin Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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