Former Swift Lead Chris Lattner Explains Why He Moved To Tesla

Less than one week ago, Apple’s senior manager Ted Kremenek was named as the new lead of the Swift development project, after Chris Lattner announced his departure from the company.

On January 10, Lattner told the Swift Evolution mailing list that he was departing Apple for another opportunity, which turned out to be Tesla.

At first, Lattner did not explain his reasoning for the move, but he later denied a report that said he “felt constrained” by Apple’s secretive culture. In a statement to MacRumors, Lattner explained why he moved to Tesla. The reason is actually very simple: he wanted to move on to something new. He said:

“I’ve been writing code for more than 30 years, and 16 of those years have been in the developer tools space. I love it, but I am ready to move on to something else. Autopilot is clearly incredibly important to the world because of its ability to save people’s lives (and increase convenience). It is also a very, very hard technology problem and my experience building large scale software and team building is useful. Of course, I’ve also been a huge Tesla fan for some time.”

He also admitted that the move to Tesla was not an easy decision to make after being with Apple for such a long time. However, he said that the opportunity to work for the Autopilot team at Tesla was “irresistible”.


Lattner will take on this new role at Tesla with the goal of making fully-capable self-driving cars a reality. Tesla has said that they want to enable full the self-driving mode on its vehicles by the end of this year.

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