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DJ Novotney, one of Apple's top hardware engineering architects, is leaving Apple for Rivian Automotive, Bloomberg reported over the weekend.

HomePod-G4-Feature.jpg

Novotney has worked at Apple for 25 years and been highly influential in the development of the iPod and iPhone over multiple generations of the hardware. He also helped lead development of the iPad and bring the Apple Watch to market, according to the report's sources at Apple.

Novotney was also involved in "Project Titan," the company's stalled attempt to develop an autonomous electric vehicle. Most recently he was the senior executive in charge of developing future home devices, with a special focus on robotics and AI. Apple is said to have explored a future high-end HomePod speaker that could include an iPad connected via a robotic arm that tracks and follows users around a room.

Novotney will become senior VP of vehicle programs at Rivian, which makes electric SUVs and pickup trucks. The executive informed colleagues of his exit on Friday, according to the report.
"Great products are what we do best and I have been so very lucky along the way to be part of so many amazing teams that developed everything from iPod, iPhone, iPad, Watch and so many more," Novotney wrote in a memo to colleagues that was seen by Bloomberg. "Apple has been my life, but now is the time for me to move on and help bring to life a new set of products."
Several senior Apple executives are leaving or have left the company in recent years. Notable figures among them include Tang Tan, Apple's VP of product design for the iPhone and Apple Watch, who is joining Jony Ive's LoveFrom design firm next month, and hardware technologies leader Steve Hotelling, who left Apple last year.

Article Link: Apple VP of Hardware Engineering for Home Devices Leaving Company After 25 Years
 
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Dave245

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2013
9,763
8,007
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.
 

oldMacGenius

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2018
90
164
San Francisco, CA
Apple, being on the top in terms of market influence and profitability, is in no hurry to shake things up by rapidly evolving the company’s product portfolio. This is not the Apple of the 1990s/2000s where innovation was a must, where Macs and other devices were evolving at a rapid pace and we were seemingly bombarded with new designs and innovations annually. This Apple is obsessed with incremental improvements and occasionally will slowly enter into a new category of devices… Apple Watches, Mac Minis, etc are all the same fundamental design for years, for example. At this pace, many people are ready to take a risk and explore new ways of using their skillsets in exciting new opportunities.

That being said, I would love to see a revamp of the iMac G4 design. It’s probably still my favorite Mac design of all time.
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,944
7,105
Perth, Western Australia
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.
People leave.

Occasionally its because they want a change. Occasionally its more money.

And sometimes they had stagnated at the company they were at and not generating anything of relevance any more anyway, and there are new, younger, more energized employees following in their footsteps.

The fact that apple has retained as many long-term staff as they have is amazing.
 

senttoschool

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2017
2,571
5,325
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.
Executives join and leave all the time. Sometimes it's due to being pushed out. For example, it wouldn't surprise me if this guy leaving wasn't a good car tech leader since it's very different from iPods. Maybe Apple wanted someone different at the helm.
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,944
7,105
Perth, Western Australia
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.
I'd say without Steve present to tell him some of his ideas were "crap" (or at least, the end result of some of the designs) Jony's "design aesthetic above all else" got out of control and we ended up with some really crappy products.

Things like the macbook keyboard fiasco - replacing a perfectly good laptop keyboard with something that made Macbook purchasing a crap-shoot for half a decade!

Don't get me wrong - Ive is an industrial design legend, but the products STILL NEED TO WORK.

I can admire what he designed from an aesthetics standpoint, but i'm SO glad he has nothing to do with macbook design any more.
 

Will Co

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2021
372
1,528
United Kingdom
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.
Maybe not. People get into a rut and need a change. At his age, he's probably thinking about his last role. Does he want to end his career at Apple, or perhaps have one last fresh challenge. Could be nothing more than itchy feet.

Edit: Typo
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2006
2,406
7,321
Ireland
I remain adamant that Apple focusing on TV content was and remains a distraction. There are plenty of streaming services and Apple didn't need to get involved at all—that area is well covered. Apple should have instead focused just as much effort and money on living room and Mac gaming—solving both problems once and for all. AAA gaming remains Apple's biggest core product shortcoming and common criticism.
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2006
2,406
7,321
Ireland
Apple should just buy Rivian. I like the Rivian. Ads though not available in Australia. But small enough for Apple to buy. And with Apples manufacturing connections could get things done.
The main reason for Apple to acquire Rivian is the talented people they have. Apple tend to not to make big company purchases like that. They'll probably just try to poach the big players at Rivian over time as they refine their own approach to personal transport in the modern era.

Remember too that Apple has over a thousand, if not a few thousand employees working on car R&D for over ten years now. They may not have a car product in the marketplace, but they are not new to this. Heck, their head of chassis design and steering was the lead developer of Panamera at Porsche, and one of the leads or the main guy on Taycan. Many of these people leading this project at Apple have decades of car designing experience.
 
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throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
8,944
7,105
Perth, Western Australia
I remain adamant that Apple focusing on TV content was and remains a distraction. There are plenty of streaming services and Apple didn't need to get involved at all—that area is well covered. Apple should have instead focused just as much effort and money on living room and Mac gaming—solving both problems once and for all. AAA gaming remains Apple's biggest core product shortcoming and common criticism.
See, apple are playing the long game. Right now it just looks like they're putting out AppleTV content.

They're putting out TV content at the moment, but you just KNOW they are also using those same teams to make a whole heap of immersive VisionPro content right now. Without establishing those teams by poaching from Hollywood to make TV/Movies - they wouldn't have the pieces in place for high end VisionPro content generation.

Facebook/meta/valve/HTC have NOTHING comparable for their own headsets in that space, and even getting started today they'll be 5+ years behind.
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,514
402
AR
It begs the question of what's going on at Apple. A lot of executives have left the company over the past few years. The biggest shock to me was Johnny Ive, he was at Apple even when it was going down the pan after Steve Job was fired.

Jobs was fired in 1985. Ive started in 1992, some 7 years later. Apple didn't start going down hill until 1994 or so.
 
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