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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Doug Field, Apple's Vice President of Special Projects, is leaving Apple and abandoning his work on the Apple Car in favor of a position at Ford, Ford announced today.


Field has jumped from company to company in recent years, and since 2018, he has been leading Apple Car development alongside Bob Mansfield and John Giannandrea, who took over leadership for the project in late 2020. Prior to joining Apple in 2018, Field worked at Tesla and oversaw the production of the Model 3.

Before working at Tesla, Field was Apple's Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering, so this is the second time he has departed the Cupertino company. In total, he spent eight and a half years at Apple.

Field is returning to Ford, which is actually where he kicked off his career as a development engineer. He's also had stints at Johnson & Johnson, DEKA, and Segway. At Ford, Field will serve as chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer where he will work on AI, software, and hardware.

Work on the Apple Car could see a major setback with Field's departure, as the project has suffered from multiple leadership issues over the years. Field's return to Apple was largely seen as a major factor in Apple's decision to manufacture a full Apple Car rather than scaling the project back to a software focus.

That said, AI chief John Giannandrea is still leading the project, and Apple also recently brought on Apple Watch lead Kevin Lynch to oversee the Apple Car development. We're not expecting to see an Apple Car until the mid to late 2020s at the earliest, so Apple still has some time to work out ongoing leadership woes.

Article Link: Apple Car Executive Doug Field Departs Company for Ford
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macrumors 68020
Mar 3, 2004
UK, Europe
Field's return to Apple was largely seen as a major factor in Apple's decision to manufacture a full Apple Car rather than scaling the project back to a software focus.

I hope Apple stay the course and introduce a full  vehicle, instead of falling back to just producing an OS to run one.

Human transportation would benefit greatly from Apple's influence and competition.


Sep 11, 2014
So everyone that was expecting an Apple Car to be announced in 2022, or even 2024 can kiss that (nonexistent) dream goodbye.
I honestly keep forgetting they’re supposed to be working on a car. I’ve been hearing about this off again on again car project for so many years that I had started tuning it all out.

So I will be pleasantly surprised when it finally is released…just in time for the kids to have “that talk” with Old Grumpymom about how my old lady vision and reflexes mean it’s time to surrender my driver’s license.

In that case, I hope they get that self driving part working well!


macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
Given the short time frame of 3 years, he probably saw a stagnant project and decided to jump ship.

At his level, money likely isn't the primary motivator, but rather intrinsic motivation. It's doing challenging projects that you enjoy and the satisfaction seeing those projects come through.


macrumors G5
Mar 2, 2012
Westchester, NY
Apple has a history of disrupting markets, so it’s no surprise that other companies will try to recruit Apple employees to see what they’re working on


macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2018
It's OK, after carOS 5.0 , it is stable enough and new AppleCar 3.0 seems to be so much better than previous gens. At least it has touch ID inbuilt in the handle. Doug has enough of this experience to apply it to next gen Ford EVs.


macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
Sounds like he wasn’t that good for the company if he bounces around so much. Looks like he’ll change jobs at the drop of a higher paycheck… what is his legacy exactly if he’s only touched a given project for 3 years tops?
He was at Segway for 9 years. Apple for 5 years. Tesla for 5 years.

You're wrong about the paycheck. Some really outstanding engineers don't stay if they don't see a challenge. Jim Keller is one of the legends that designed A4/A5. He jumped between AMD, P.A. Semi, Apple, Tesla, and Intel.


macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2012
Many others like Google/Alphabet have the chance to establish an outstanding automized e-car – Apple should concentrate on other topics of competence.

Google Maps is far more better performing than Apple Maps and this is one key stone for a success in developing a new e-car whatever size it will have.

The established car industry like Toyota, VW or Ford, Fiat/Chrysler will never accept a leadership of Apple in computing their new e-car generations – NEVER!
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