Ford Motor Co. is showing a new 2021 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck at Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan on September 17, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

DETROIT – Ford engine said Tuesday it has hired earlier Tesla and Apple Executive Doug Field to direct its new technology efforts, a focus for the automaker as part of its new Ford + turnaround to plan.

Field – who directed the development of Teslas Model 3 – most recently as Vice President for Special Projects Apple, which allegedly included the tech giant’s titanium car project.

The hiring is a great addition to Ford and a huge achievement for Apple and his company secret car project, which the company has yet to confirm exists.

“I think every time you lose a respected, seasoned manager who, as we can see, really led Apple’s automotive efforts, it’s a blow to any company,” says Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who owns the iPhone -Manufacturer covers. said CNBCs “Closing bell.”

Apple said in an email statement, “We are grateful for the contributions Doug has made to Apple and we wish him all the best for this next chapter.”

Ford said Field will assume the new position of Chief Advanced Technology and Embedded Systems Officer. He will lead Ford’s vehicle control, enterprise connectivity, functions, integration and validation, architecture and platform, driver assistance technology and digital development tools.

“His talent and dedication to innovating that improve customers’ lives will be invaluable as we grow our Ford + plan to deliver great products, lasting customer relationships and constantly improving user experiences,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley in a statement. “We are thrilled that Doug has decided to join Ford and write the next great chapter of this great company.”

Field, who will report to Farley, began his career at Ford in 1987, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then held positions at Johnson & Johnson, Deka Research & Development and Segway before joining Apple in 2008. After more than five years with the tech giant, he moved to Tesla before returning to Apple in 2018.

In 2016, Apple reportedly abandoned plans to build its own car and focused more on developing the software for autonomous driving. Field’s recent assignment at Apple was seen by industry insiders as an indication that the company is thinking about building its own vehicles again.

His most recent stint at Apple was seen by some industry insiders as a re-emphasis on vehicle design after the company realigned its efforts towards autonomous driving software.

Field declined to speak about his work at Apple, but said there was “nothing that prevents me from working full-time at Ford” when asked if his former employer had forced him to sign a nondisclosure agreement sign.

“Apple does not talk about new products, and I will not talk about my work at Apple,” he said on Tuesday during a phone call with reporters. “But nothing prevents me from becoming fully involved with Ford, and I look forward to capitalizing on everything I have from all of the teams I’ve worked with and from all of the companies I’ve been privileged to work with To be part, to use. ” from.”

Field said he chose Ford after speaking with executives at the company and realizing there was a “deep desire” to transform the automotive industry, particularly with connected vehicles.

Connected vehicles are a key part of Ford’s new turnaround plan, which aims to reposition the automaker to generate more recurring revenue through software services.

Farley described the setting of the field as a “watershed moment” for the automaker. It follows Ford chairman Bill Ford, who told CNBC the automaker would announce new leaders to Farley’s management team.

– CNBCs Kevin Stankiewicz and Kif Leswing contributed to this report