Tesla has stolen plenty of Apple employees in the past, and now the Cupertino company is striking back. 9to5Mac reports that Apple recently hired former Tesla vehicle engineering chief Chris Porritt to work on “special projects,” which is presumably code for the company’s secret car project.
Porritt joined Tesla in 2013, where he served as Vice President of Vehicle Engineering and contributed to the Model S, Model X and the Model 3 chassis. Before that, he worked at Aston Martin as the company’s chief engineer, developing some of the British company’s most iconic cars.
9to5Mac notes that Porritt actually left Tesla a few months ago. It’s unclear if he was let go or chose to leave early knowing he had another job lined up. However, Elon Musk has joked in the past that employees who can’t make it at Tesla often end up working for Apple instead.
Porritt’s new title of “Special Projects Group PD Administrator” doesn’t reveal much, but he could end up leading Apple’s car project. The company recently lost its previous car chief, Steve Zadesky. Porritt also likely has Jony Ive’s support, since Cupertino’s design chief is a documented Aston Martin fan.
The Apple car still isn’t expected for at least a few more years but, with Porritt’s help, the company should be on track to meet that rumored internal goal.