Doug Field leaves Tesla and returning to Apple to work on Project Titan

Doug Field, who once worked as Apple’s vice president of Mac hardware, is returning to the company after a five-year stint at Tesla. He’s coming back to work on Apple’s all-secretive “Project Titan” automotive initiative, according to Daring Fireball

In news now confirmed by Apple, Field’s new job will be to work closely with project head Bob Manfield on whatever his team is doing. Since 2013, Field served as Tesla’s vice president of engineering. He left the position in March after overseeing Model 3 production.

It was once assumed that Project Titan would eventually lead to the launch of a so-called “iCar.” In recent years, however, it appeared that Apple had scaled back its expectations.

With Apple and Tesla jockeying employees back and forth for years, one hire doesn’t necessarily mean that much, at least on the surface. Nonetheless, as Daring Fireball explains:

But I think it’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies. That rumor never really made sense to me anyway — Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make the whole widget. Apple makes products, not components. Field returning to Apple also suggests to me that under Mansfield’s leadership, the Titan project has regained its footing after its infamously rocky start.

Hopefully, we’ll hear more about Project Titan sooner or later. As it stands, we can only speculate and hope for something big.

Do you think this hiring represents something significant? Let us know below.