The engineer who was responsible for some of Apple’s most iconic designs has reportedly left the company, and is now working at Tesla.
Matt Casebolt, former Senior Director of Design at Apple, updated his LinkedIn profile on Wednesday. His current position now reads: Senior Director of Engineering, Closures & Mechanisms at Tesla Motors.
Casebolt obtained his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, prior to holding key positions at companies like Acorn, AMD, and Rackable Systems. He was hired by Apple in 2007, and worked his way up through the ranks to become a director of product design — his last posted position prior to leaving the company in December of last year.
Since being hired in 2007, Casebolt has been named in over 52 Apple patents, according to 9to5Mac. Those patents include battery mounts, hinge clothes, and thermal management systems. As far products go, Casebolt spearheaded the development of the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar lineup. Prior to that, he was also instrumental in designing the original MacBook Air. He reportedly led the team that worked on the iconic “trash can” Mac Pro, and is said to have also been involved with the Retina MacBook Pro lineup released in 2012 and the current Mac mini redesign.
Casebolt isn’t the only person to have left Apple for Tesla in recent months. On Tuesday, word spread that Chris Lattner, the original creator of Apple’s Swift programming language, left Cupertino to work at the electric car manufacturer. In August 2016, Tesla poached Apple’s Reliability Director, and in November, Apple lost three PR executives — two to Ford, and one to Tesla, AppleInsider reported. Casebolt is just the latest employee snagged by the boutique car manufacturer in its infamous “poaching war” with Apple.
Judging by the patents Casebolt has been named on, it’s likely that he was a member of Apple’s elite design team — a group which has an extremely low turnover rate. That team used to be headed by famed Apple design chief Jony Ive, but it’s reportedly had some leadership changes in recent years. Some Apple analysts have speculated about what the recent departures mean for Cupertino’s ability to retain talent, according to Business Insider.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk famously called Apple “the Tesla graveyard,” citing Cupertino’s supposed penchant of hiring Tesla employees that didn’t “make it.” In any case, it’s no secret that the forcible exchange of talent is a two-way street.