Apple’s Chris Lattner joins Tesla as Vice President of Autopilot Software

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.

That explains what happened.



  • DanielSw

    Wow! That’s great news!

    Sounds to me like there will be more and more potential cooperation between Apple and Tesla in the future—especially if Swift could become Tesla’s development platform!

    • Herding_sheep

      Cooperation? Sounds more like increasing rivalry to me. Tesla just poached one of their top talents away. While Apple has been poaching Tesla talent as well.

      I can almost guarantee Apple isn’t happy to see Lattner leave, especially to Tesla.

    • Mo

      Sometimes I worry about you.

      • DanielSw

        Well Mo, though I’m touched that you care, I also trust you will remember this day and my comments when we all find out that I was right about this move!

        • Mo

          I can see the potential utility of Swift at Tesla. “Potential cooperation” between the two companies is a supposition.

          • DanielSw

            And what’s the harm in “supposing” something positive, hmm?”

          • Mo

            Until we publicly hear of a genuine, official relationship between the two companies, supposing “more potential cooperation” where none has taken place is a bit silly, especially at their level.

            That you and I admire both of these companies is irrelevant, and populist sentiment — like tech-blog rumors — doesn’t help us understand either of them any better.

    • Optimist, why not. It could happen, influenced by Mr. Lattner.

  • StruckPaper

    Chris is a real stud, and a big loss for Apple. But don’t underestimate his replacement, Ted Kremenek.

  • Tim Cook must be fuming. I don’t think I’d want to be around the next time he bumps into Elon Musk.

    • Draugminaion Formenghobel

      The media like to spin things as adversarial and emotional, because that is more exciting and sells ads. I think reality is more boring and sensible. So, no “fuming”.

      • yup this. attrition is a very normal part of silicon valley and happens every week, we just dont hear about it.

    • StruckPaper

      Tim Cook is not a fool. The employee movement is bilateral.

  • HiawathaJones

    The Tim Cook era continues to disappoint

    • Actually, Apple nowadays is more in the shape of attracting people like Mr. Lattner, it is a less opaque company in many aspects. Certainly Tesla sails in Much more attractive sea than Apple. Apple should broad their reach, technologically speaking, to retain its talents.

    • trolling is such unrewarding work, isn’t it.

      didn’t hear you complaining when people (including long-time vets) left for better jobs while Jobs was CEO.

      if you’re a senior person at Apple you can make your ticket anywhere. this guy was at Apple for over a decade, id want change and new opportunities (and a great raise I’m sure) too. life isn’t all about work.

      • HiawathaJones

        Because jobs was delivering amazing products and growing Apple’s revenues insanely. Under Cook Apple has stagnated.

  • Caleb Hightower

    Big win for Elon, Tesla, and presumably Chris.

  • Draugminaion Formenghobel

    So does this mean that Apple no longer needs anyone in charge of autopilot software, or that Lattner could not get that job at Apple because Apple already has someone better?

    • StruckPaper

      Lattner was not involved with the Apple Car project. Therefore, he was likely unaware of whether there was a similar position or not.

      • Draugminaion Formenghobel

        It seems to me that if he is not just in it for the money, but because he thinks autopilot software is something he wants to do, he would certainly have expressed a desire to do it at Apple. If such a position existed at Apple, he would certainly have been considered.

        • Much ado about a personal choice. He is free to go where he want to.

          Creative people have those needs.

  • JimCracky

    High paid engineer changes job.