Apple Inc. has placed a senior executive in charge of its electric vehicle development program called Project Titan, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources.
Bob Mansfield, one of the technology giant’s top executives under former chief executive Steve Jobs, had been an adviser at the company since leaving Apple’s executive team in 2013.
But earlier this month, Apple staff noticed that in the company directory all the senior managers on the car project were now reporting to Mansfield, the newspaper said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has predicted that “there will be a massive change” in the automobile industry as software and autonomous driving become more important.
The company hopes the car project will drive its growth as sales of its flagship product, the iPhone, slow down, the Journal said.
Mansfield once led the hardware engineering development of products including the MacBook Air laptop computer, the iMac desktop computer, and the iPad tablet.
He had also worked on special projects such as the Apple Watch under Cook’s leadership.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment on personnel matters.
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