Tesla just poached one of Apple's top engineers

Tesla just poached one of Apple's top engineers
Credit: Tesla

Earlier today, Chris Lattner revealed that he was leaving Apple in pursuit of a new opportunity. While not a household name, Lattner is a highly regarded engineer who not only spearheaded the development of Swift, but also oversaw Apple's Xcode team.

"This decision wasn't made lightly," Lattner said earlier today, "and I want you all to know that I’m still completely committed to Swift. I plan to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team, as well as a contributor to the swift-evolution mailing list."

A short while ago, we've finally ascertained where Lattner is going. Interestingly enough, he'll be taking his talents to Tesla.

In a blog post published a short while ago, Tesla officially welcomed Chris Lattner into the mix where he will assume the role of vice president of Autopilot Software.

Tesla's post reads:

We would like to welcome Chris Lattner, who will join Tesla as our Vice President of Autopilot Software. Chris’ reputation for engineering excellence is well known. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux. Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today.

As Chris joins Tesla, we would like to give a special thanks to Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX’s Vice President of Software, who has been serving a dual role as the interim Vice President of Tesla Autopilot Software and will now be heading back to SpaceX full-time. We would like to thank Jinnah for the efforts needed to achieve excellence in both roles, David Nister, our Vice President of Autopilot Vision, and the team for their exceptional work in advancing Autopilot.

We are very excited that Chris is joining Tesla to lead our Autopilot engineering team and accelerate the future of autonomous driving.

Lattner is arguably the biggest name to leave Apple for Tesla. Indeed, Tesla over the past few years has hired scores upon scores of former Apple researchers, marketers, designers and engineers. Lattner's senior position within Apple, however, is particularly noteworthy, especially given previous rumors surrounding Apple's alleged interest in developing its own branded car.

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