Apple VP of Product Design Doug Field is leaving the company for Tesla according to a press release from the automaker today. Field will head programs that will drive the development of new vehicles for the electric car maker. The hire was first spotted by CNBC.
“Doug has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products, including what are widely considered the best computers in the world,” said Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO in a statement issued today. “Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world. Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”
Field says that he had never seriously considered leaving Apple. He began his career as a development engineer at Ford but says that he left the auto industry in “search of fast-paced, exciting engineering challenges elsewhere.”
“As the first high tech auto company in modern history,” says Field, “Tesla is at last an opportunity for me and many others to pursue the dream of building the best cars in the world—while being part of one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley.”
Field has been with Apple for over five years and worked in Mac hardware. Before that, Field was VP of Design & Engineering and CTO at Segway. Apple hired Segway robotics expert John Morell last year but it’s unclear what he’s working on.
Tesla has other Apple DNA on staff, as its VP of Sales & Ownership George Blankenship came from Apple where he was its Vice President of Real Estate.