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.