Ammann's move positions the business to allow strategic partnerships with companies that aren't as closely aligned with GM, allowing the autonomous unit to pursue funding from nontraditional financing sources, Krebs said.
Acevedo agreed that the recent leadership transitions as well as layoff announcements reveal where GM considers the future of its business.
"It's an attempt to make the process a lot more integrated. Leveraging that in this broader autonomous race is what this whole shake-up has been about," Acevedo said. "With the layoffs, GM has been a pivoting into where they see the future of automotive headed."