Apple VP of hardware engineering leaves for Rivian

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An Apple VP who helped start work on the electric Apple Car project is departing for another automotive company, with DJ Novotney heading over to Rivian.

DJ Novotney, an almost 25-year veteran at Apple, was the vice president of hardware engineering at the iPhone maker. However he is now ending his time at Apple, in favor of a new role elsewhere.

Bloomberg reports Novotney will become the SVP of vehicle programs at Rivian, and will report directly to Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

Novotney announced his departure at Apple with a memo, advising “Apple has been my life, but now is the time for me to move on and help bring to life a new set of products.” He also said he has been “so very lucky along the way to be part of so many amazing teams that developed everything from iPod, iPhone, iPad, Watch, and so many more.”

Along with multiple generations of core Apple products, Novotney also worked on one long-time project, the Apple Car. He is credited in the report as helping start the development of an electric vehicle under the project.

Later, he became a “senior executive in charge of developing future home devices,” the report adds, including work in artificial intelligence and robotics.

Novotney isn’t the only Apple employee to jump ship to Rivian in the last month. On January 22, Electrek reports Rivian had hired on Jonas Reinke, a four-year head of product, mobility and auto services at Apple, who previously spent over a decade at Porsche.

The new departure is the latest problem for the long-delayed Apple Car, which has apparently been pushed back to a 2028 release. At the same time, Apple allegedly downscaled its plans for the vehicle, from full automation to a Level 2+ system capable of limited autonomous functions, such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

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