Former Tesla Engineer Doug Field Returns to Apple to Work on Project Titan

Doug Field, a former Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering at Apple, has returned to the company after spending several years at Tesla.

Field will join former colleagues at the Cupertino company where he held the role of vice president of Mac hardware, Apple has confirmed.

Field worked at Apple as VP of Product Design and VP of Mac hardware from 2008 to 2013 before moving to Tesla, reads a new post from Daring Fireball. Tesla poached Field from Apple in 2013 stating that he had the “leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products.”

However, after the company was initially unable to ramp up Model 3 production quickly enough, Tesla CEO Elon Musk overtook Field’s duties in April 2018, and Field left the company shortly afterward.

Field will work with Apple’s Bob Mansfield, a senior hardware engineering VP who briefly “retired” from Apple in 2012 yet remained involved in unnamed special projects for the company. Mansfield is now leading Apple’s self-driving car program, Project Titan.

There’s been plenty of speculation about the secretive Project Titan, most notably it was reported in 2016 that Apple had abandoned plans to develop a car. Project Titan has reportedly been scaled back considerably from its initial scope, with hundreds of people leaving the division as Apple is said to focus on seeking carmaker partners for its self-driving software.

Gruber speculates that Field’s return to Titan suggests Apple could still have an interest in producing vehicles itself, while cautioning that employees do move between the two companies regularly.

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