Tesla Motors hires Apple’s former VP of product design

Posted on 28 Oct 2013

Former Apple VP of product design, Doug Field, has been appointed new vice president of vehicle programs at Tesla Motors. He will be conducting development of new vehicles at the Palo Alto firm.

“Doug has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products, including what are widely considered the best computers in the world,” said Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO.

Praising Field’s achievements and stressing out the importance of his involvement with the firm, Musk added: “Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world. Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”

Field has a solid background in product development. He has held a position as an engineer at Ford Motor Company, VP of design engineering at Segway and VP of product design at Apple. He has worked in close collaboration with Apple’s senior vice president of design, Jonathan Ive, on breakthrough products such as the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac.

“Until Tesla came along, I had never seriously considered leaving Apple,” said Field. “I started my career with the goal of creating incredible cars, but ultimately left the auto industry in search of fast-paced, exciting engineering challenges elsewhere. As the first high tech auto company in modern history, Tesla is at last an opportunity for me and many others to pursue the dream of building the best cars in the world—while being part of one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley.”

The appointment comes at a challenging time for Tesla Motors.

Pushing for the release of its new Model X in 2014 and the introduction of its new Model S in Europe, shares in the California based company dropped by 10% last week following a crash that resulted in a fire in one of its Model S vehicles.

Stock analysts at Baird also downgraded the stock to “neutral” on Tuesday which seemed to trigger a sell-off in the stock. Despite the latest financial hiccup, analysts suggest Tesla Motors is expected to enter its third profitable quarter in ten years in November, with earnings of 11 cents per share.