A new hire at Apple has the WSJ pointing at the unannounced vehicle project. Apple has reportedly hired Doug Betts, who most recently served as a Senior Vice President of Global Quality for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Betts has a garage full of previous work experience in the auto industry, including stints at Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Toyota.
It appears that Betts’ past roles have focused heavily on managing cross-functional teams related to auto production development and customer satisfaction. Per Betts’ LinkedIn regarding his former role at Chrysler:
Responsibilities include: Quality Engineering, field issue problem solving and warranty management, manufacturing operations, proving grounds operations, supplier quality, technical service, product development process leadership. Implementing Toyota operating principles into culture of Chrysler.
His LinkedIn also lists his current position as “Operations- Apple Inc.,” beginning this month, with a location in the San Francisco Bay Area but no further information.
Apple was not immediately available for comment.
The WSJ report focuses heavily on the rumors of Apple firing up a car or vehicle project, hiring numerous employees away from Tesla, and others involved in the car industry. However, Betts’ LinkedIn specifies an operations role, so he could very well have been hired on to run quality for the supply chain on an existing product at Apple, something we hear is likely.
Though Apple executives like Jeff Williams have referred to the car as ‘the ultimate mobile device’, the majority of the furor that it is looking to build an electric vehicle has come from reporting on hires.
Article updated to clarify Betts’ role.