Apple Car Executive Doug Field Departs Company for Ford

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.

Apple car wheel icon feature teal
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.

Top Rated Comments

Think|Different Avatar
35 months ago

Not good
Not bad either, LOL. People come and go – one person does not a project make.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheLunaPark Avatar
35 months ago
Judging by the current state of Apple software - particularly macOS - would I buy a car using Apple software? Hahaha no.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumastudetto Avatar
35 months ago
This is a really crushing blow for those of us who are hungering for a privacy-focused self-driving car powered by Apple Maps and Siri.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5105973 Avatar
35 months ago

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!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
35 months ago

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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
35 months ago

Not good. He must have been offered an excellent compensation at Ford to make the move.
Or just decent treatment as employee and privacy.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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