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

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.

Tag: Tesla


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11 months ago
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
Rating: 21 Votes
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11 months ago

const grass !== greener


In a story about Chris, you should have used 'let'.
Rating: 12 Votes
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11 months ago
He is spying.
Rating: 10 Votes
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11 months ago
Elon's vanity hire went south sooner than expected.
Rating: 8 Votes
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11 months ago
But I thought Apple was doomed because he went to Tesla. :p
Rating: 7 Votes
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11 months ago
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.
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 months ago
The fact Tesla immediately named his replacement (Andrej Karpathy, a leading expert in computer vision and neural nets, formerly worked at another Musk venture, OpenAI), while Chris Lattner took to twitter to say he's looking for a job leads me to think this wasn't a mutually agreed upon decision.

Chris Lattner was blindsided by his firing from Tesla. Tesla already had everything lined up to fire him, and Chris didn't see it coming. If he'd seen it coming or had chosen to leave, I think he'd already have some leads set up. The fact he's looking for leads on Twitter says he only began his search for a new job a few hours ago.
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 months ago


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.


I have never once quit a job with another lined up. I have many friends working in similar fashions. There are some jobs so toxic to your mental health the best option is to quit. The ability to do this is liberating and it comes when you don't get yourself into a situation of living pay-check to pay-check.

There is a good chance this was a bit mutual on both sides with Latner knowing it was coming; butting heads with everyone he worked with; not feeling like you are moving forward;
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Must be tough going from working on toys to autonomous vehicles and systems. Hope he took advantage of the opportunity Tesla provided to him and absorbed as much as he could from those six months to secure the next gig. Even though it didn't work out long term he's much better off having Tesla on his resume as it opens doors versus having Apple only which Elon Musk refers to as a graveyard.


Toys? LLVM is a toy?
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 months ago

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.

Tangentially, I'm not sure I see the advantage of rushing to an arbitrary deadline a completely self-driving vehicle.
Rating: 4 Votes
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11 months ago
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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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