Bob Mansfield has been chosen to head up Apple’s “secret” electric car project three years after stepping down from his executive role, according to a new report.
Mansfield was previously in charge of Mac hardware at Apple and led development of products like the MacBook Air, iMac and iPad.
Mansfield first joined Apple in 1999 when the company acquired Raycer Graphics, where he was vice president of engineering. He went on to become senior vice president of Mac Hardware Engineering, reporting directly to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Apple announced Mansfield’s retirement in June 2012, but just two months later, it was confirmed that he was staying on to work on “future projects.” Mansfield was then named senior vice president of technologies in October 2012.
Just nine months after that appointment, Mansfield disappeared from Apple’s executive profiles webpage, and Apple confirmed he was no longer a part of its executive team — but he stayed on to be an advisor to Tim Cook.
“Apple now has Mr. Mansfield running the company’s secret autonomous, electric-vehicle initiative, code-named Project Titan,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Mansfield was previously making only occasional visits to Apple; however, employees recently noticed in the company directory that all senior managers working on the car project are now reporting directly to him.
Neither Apple nor Mansfield have confirmed the claims.
According to a recent report, the Apple Car’s launch has been delayed until 2021. Rumors had claimed Apple was hoping to deliver it in 2019, but sources say the company has since run into engineering challenges.