DETROIT — Nine months after he was brought aboard to steer the American Center for Mobility into its next chapter, Michael Noblett is no longer the organization's CEO.
Without saying whether Noblett was fired or he resigned, officials at the autonomous-vehicle proving ground said Monday that COO Mark Chaput is now interim CEO as a "national search is carried out" to find Noblett's successor.
This will be the second such search in less than a year. Noblett was hired in February following a protracted hunt for an executive who could elevate ACM's profile and attract more companies interested in using the autonomous- and connected-vehicle testing facility.
Prior to joining the proving ground, Noblett took a 1-year, 9-month sabbatical, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that break, he had executive stints at IBM and Intel, which each lasted one year and three months. He was at IBM for six years overall.
ACM officials were tight-lipped this week regarding his departure, which was announced at a meeting of the organization's board last week. A spokesperson for ACM did not return a request for comment, nor did board Chairwoman Cynthia Wilbanks. Noblett also did not respond.
Last month, during an event at the facility, Chaput hinted at headwinds the test track had encountered in drumming up business.
"It's not taken off as quickly as we had hoped," Chaput told Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, on Oct. 25. "We were not significantly surprised as we're competing with free. Places like MCity and other proving grounds can be significantly cheaper depending on what users are looking for, so we have to work for it."
This isn't the first abrupt change for the American Center for Mobility. Noblett had replaced former CEO John Maddox, who departed for a job at Lyft in August 2018 amid a shakeup of the organization's entire management team.
ACM is a private-public partnership run by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Department of Transportation, the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor SPARK, a local business incubator.