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

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chris lattner portraitSwift 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

Top Rated Comments

JosephAW Avatar
45 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
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bitfactory Avatar
45 months ago

const grass !== greener

In a story about Chris, you should have used 'let'.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mejsric Avatar
45 months ago
He is spying.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
45 months ago
Elon's vanity hire went south sooner than expected.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
45 months ago
But I thought Apple was doomed because he went to Tesla. :p
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
atomic.flip Avatar
45 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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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