Apple is reportedly tapping former executive Bob Mansfield to lead its not-so-secret car project, which many believe is called ‘Titan.’
If you’re not familiar with Mansfield, you’re definitely aware of the products he’s helmed. On top of the iMac, MacBook Air and early iPads, the Apple Watch is reportedly one of his newer pet projects.
After leaving a few years ago, Mansfield made a return reportedly to head up the Apple Watch team. Apple is not commenting on Mansfield’s apparent return.
Apple has a plan
If you’re wondering why the company would put a guy with a history of leading computer and wearables teams in charge of a automotive project, you’re not alone. It’s pretty counterintuitive, at least at first blush.
But Mansfield knows how Apple operates, and he knows how to bring successful projects to fruition. Say what you like about the various products he helped bring to us, they were all home runs for the company (yes, even the Watch). There’s also a need for new leadership at Titan.
And we should also remember that we’re not really sure what is going with the Titan car project. It could be a full-on electric or automated vehicle, but may be an in-car software system for existing car manufacturers.
Really, we don’t know, but it probably doesn’t matter. Whether he can turn a wrench or not, Mansfield knows how to lead projects to Apple’s liking.
The Wall Street Journal reports that all senior mangers of the Titan program must report to Mansfield, which likely means he’s got the run of the garage.
This news comes on the heels of a report that Apple has pushed the launch of whatever Titan is to 2021 amidst internal turmoil — another reason Mansfield may be there. While originally eyeballing a 2020 release for Titan, internal strife reportedly pushed the project back a year.
Without a strong guiding hand, it may have slipped even further.