Swift Creator Chris Lattner Leaves Tesla After Only Six Months in the Job

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Swift creator Chris Lattner, who left Apple to become vice president of Tesla's autopilot program, has parted ways with the electric car maker after just six months in the job.

    "Chris just wasn't the right fit for Tesla, and we've decided to make a change," Tesla said Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lattner followed Tesla's statement with a post on his Twitter account announcing his interest in available roles for a "seasoned engineering leader".

    The parting of ways will come as a surprise to some observers, given Lattner's previous standing at Apple and his stated enthusiasm for a new challenge. Back in January, Lattner told MacRumors how much he loved writing code at Apple, and that leaving had been a "very difficult decision" but ultimately he was "ready to move onto something else" and the prospect of working on Tesla's Autopilot team was "irresistible".

    However, as noted by WSJ, Lattner is just the latest departure in an recent exodus of talent from the program, which has been under increasing pressure from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to develop an autonomous car system, with a company target to demonstrate a car that can drive itself by the end of 2017 inching ever closer.

    The program has also faced questions about the safety of the proposed technology, following a fatal crash last year in Florida involving a Tesla equipped with a semiautonomous system, which assists drivers during tasks like steering, braking, and changing lanes.

    Lattner's hiring in January coincided with the departure of Autopilot program director Sterling Anderson. Tesla sued Anderson after he tried to create a competing startup, but the lawsuit was settled in April.

    Article Link: Swift Creator Chris Lattner Leaves Tesla After Only Six Months in the Job
  2. vmachiel macrumors 68000

    Feb 15, 2011
    O wow, who will snatch him up? I can only imagine he's a pretty wanted employee.
  3. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Elon's vanity hire went south sooner than expected.
  4. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    This whole situation is weird to me. He left the largest company in the world to got to Tesla, left after 6 months and now wants someone else to hire him?

    I'm sure he got a lot of info from Tesla. Isn't the next company going to be a little weary of hiring him?

    You would think people would be skeptical. He just seems carefree.
  5. bkkcanuck8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2015
    He quit? Tesla said he was not a good fit, something that they would not have volunteered to the press if Chris Lattner had quit. They would have said something like, we are sorry to see him leave, etc.

    I actually was surprised at him going there in that position in the first place (and was roundly told by some Apple fanboys that he was a god and not to question).... since he has more experience in compilers, tools etc. but I could find no history of AI or Machine Learning (I could be wrong on that one). I have always been impressed with the work he did with regards to LLVM and it's creation, found him to be a little hard headed with regards to Swift direction -- and felt he might be a square peg with a history of being in icon at his existing company.... going into a round hole. So I am not surprised it did not work out, just surprised it was this quick.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 21, 2017 ---
    I doubt he voluntarily "left".... he was just a bad fit and it took Tesla 6 months to figure it out.... does not mean that he would be a bad hire for another company in another position. There is no doubt that in certain areas he is very talented.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 21, 2017 ---
    The company also commented on Lattner’s departure:

    “Chris just wasn’t the right fit for Tesla, and we’ve decided to make a change. We wish him the best.”
    --- Post Merged, Jun 21, 2017 ---
    Worse case scenario, Tesla will be an interesting acquisition when another company perfects autonomous driving :eek:
  6. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    But I thought Apple was doomed because he went to Tesla. :p
  7. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    Well, there's an open desk in the server room at Apple. The last guy was dismissed when he unplugged the servers to make way for his bonsai fountain. :p
  8. atomic.flip, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017

    atomic.flip macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    Orange County, CA
    Yeah, no. He didn't quit. As another posted mentioned earlier Tesla wouldn't have volunteered the "not a good fit" statement had he been eligible for rehire. Which is a very polite way of saying, "we aren't interested in this person and have let him go".

    Also, no one in their right mind quits a job without another lined up, unless there's a major issue with the current position they're in. This affair will make him far less palatable a hire to many companies but I'm sure there's bound to be someone who's willing to snatch him up. It's not like he lacks talent as a developer.
  9. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    const grass !== greener
  10. bitfactory macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2002
    In a story about Chris, you should have used 'let'.
  11. GrumpyMom, Jun 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017

    GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Tesla's wording of it made it sound like they fired him, as they put it as "we've decided to make a change." Although that "we" could be referring to a mutual decision, but it's questionable.

    A bad fit doesn't mean someone is a bad employee. I wish him luck finding a new job soon that's a better fit.
  12. stevet macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2009
    I like how the headline makes it sound like he chose to leave.
  13. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Tangentially, I'm not sure I see the advantage of rushing to an arbitrary deadline a completely self-driving vehicle.
  14. stevet macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2009
    Laughing at someone else's firing is obnoxious. Just because he wasn't good at managing and Autopilot program doesn't mean it wasn't a loss for Apple when he left.
  15. Mescagnus macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Apple should now rehire him, he has intel on Tesla's autopilot program. But my hunch is that he'll end up at Google.
  16. neliason macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    One problem with the corporate world is just because you are brilliant in a particular skill doesn't make you a good leader. But to advance in prestige and salary you generally have to be in a leadership role. I have no reason to believe this was an issue here but it is always a possibility.
  17. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    Is this where Apple hires him back with a brain full of Tesla information and puts him on the Apple Car project? :)
  18. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Go back to Apple and stick there. I am sure he would fit into more traditional engineering company's like Google, Facebook, Twitter, so many others.
  19. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2012
    Wow that didn't work. Since he was well liked at Apple and did good work, they should not be averse to considering him...no reason to let Google or someone walk off with him. JMHO....
  20. bkkcanuck8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2015
    It is not always that easy. There are things like the department has moved on, new people have stepped in and probably excelled in those positions.... (i.e. can he step back in and be ok playing second fiddle to some other person who is now in charge and setting direction). Chris' expectations may now be set higher as a starting point.... so really it is all about seeing if there is something that fits now.... not in the past.
  21. Law44 macrumors newbie


    Jun 9, 2017
    He was probably just a mole for apple
  22. bkkcanuck8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2015
    There are lots of people moving back and forth between Tesla and Apple -- one more "mole" not really of any consequence...
  23. miknos Suspended


    Mar 14, 2008
    He's not the CEO of Nokia.
  24. bkkcanuck8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2015
    Ha, the jokes on them [Tesla].... in just 6 months an [Apple] employee... has doomed Tesla.... o_O

    Sort of a cursed object.... from being at Apple too long....:eek:

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