Apple VP of Hardware Engineering for Home Devices Leaving Company After 25 Years

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

HomePod G4 Feature
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.

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Top Rated Comments

throAU Avatar
21 weeks ago

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.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oldMacGenius Avatar
21 weeks ago
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.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
throAU Avatar
21 weeks ago

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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarthDon Avatar
21 weeks ago

I doubt that we will see an Apple Car under Tim Cook’s leadership.

Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarthDon Avatar
21 weeks ago
Apple switches to radical new iphone 16 design:

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
21 weeks ago

I doubt that we will see an Apple Car under Tim Cook’s leadership.
Good. It's a nonsense idea.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)