Former Apple executive Bob Mansfield is now in charge of the company’s Project Titan, a new report says.
The former senior hardware engineer has been chosen to run Apple’s ambitious electric car project, according to anonymous sources cited by The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Mansfield is reported to have taken over Project Titan earlier this month, with Apple executives involved with the car project reporting to him, the WSJ’s sources reported.
Apple has not commented on the apparent leak.
These reports come months after the last leader of Project Titan, Steve Zadesky, announced that he was leaving the company, according to AppleInsider.
Mansfield served as the senior vice president of technologies until his apparent departure from the company in 2012, according to Fortune.
However, even after his retirement, Mansfield was reportedly working on secret Apple projects — and staying on with the company in an “advisory” role, reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
He was allegedly instrumental in the development and production of Apple products such as the MacBook Air and the iPad, Fortune reported.
And post-retirement, Apple reportedly scrambled to keep him. He was even partly involved with developing the Apple Watch, according to Engadget.
So if this leak does turn out to be true, it might bode well for Project Titan, as Mansfield has “a knack for making the company’s hardware visions become reality,” Engadget’s Jon Fingas wrote.
But despite his accomplishments with Apple, many sources consider Project Titan to be Mansfield’s — and Apple’s — most ambitious undertaking yet.
Apple’s electric car project has reportedly been in the research and development phase since late 2014, according to Forbes.
And its history can be traced back to Steve Jobs, who was interested in producing such a vehicle way back in 2008, Bloomberg reported.
But Apple has been keeping the project under wraps. To date, the tech giant has not officially announced any intentions to develop or produce an electric vehicle.
Despite the secrecy, Apple has had a hard time keeping the project a secret. It’s been reported that a large number of Apple employees are involved with the project, and the tech giant has allegedly tried to poach employees from electric car company Tesla Motors.
Other clues supposedly tied to the project include a suspected Apple front company attending an auto conference in Europe, and an unknown startup called Faraday Future announcing a $1 billion electric vehicle factory, according to Business Insider.
The company is even rumored to be developing software designed to handle the significant amount of data that a fleet of self-driving cars would produce.
But whatever big plans Apple has for Project Titan, the company is still hitting obstacles. Due to various factors, the company has delayed Project Titan’s rollout until 2021.