Ford Motor Co. showcases a new 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck at Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan on September 17, 2020.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
DETROIT – Ford Motor has hired former Tesla and Apple executive Doug Field to lead its emerging tech efforts, a key focus for the automaker as part of its new Ford + turnaround plan.
Field, who led Tesla’s Model 3 development, most recently served as Apple’s vice president of special projects, which reportedly included the tech giant’s Titan car project.
The lease is a major new addition for Ford, while a big hit for Apple and its secret car project, which the company has yet to confirm.
“I think anytime you lose a respected and experienced executive who, as far as we can tell, was really leading Apple’s automotive efforts, it’s a blow to any company,” Toni said. Sacconaghi, analyst at Bernstein, who covers the iPhone maker. said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”.
Ford announced on Tuesday that Field would take on the new role of head of advanced technologies and on-board systems. He will lead Ford’s vehicle controls, enterprise connectivity, features, integration and validation, architecture and platform, driver assistance technology and digital engineering tools.
“His talent and commitment to innovation that improves customer lives will be invaluable as we build our Ford + plan to deliver great products, ongoing customer relationships and ever-improving user experiences,” said Jim Farley , CEO of Ford, in a statement. “We are delighted that Doug has chosen to join Ford and help write the next incredible chapter for this great company.”
Field, who will report to Farley, actually started his professional career at Ford in 1987, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then held positions at Johnson & Johnson, Deka Research & Development and Segway before joining Apple in 2008. After more than five years at the tech giant, he joined Tesla before returning to Apple in 2018.
– CNBC Kevin stankiewicz contributed to this report