Lynch first joined the Apple Car team in July, with reports suggesting he had been called on to help lead Apple Car development. Now that Field has left the company, Lynch will be taking over his role and will be in charge of the Apple Car. Lynch will oversee hardware engineering and work on self-driving car sensors.
Known for his work on the Apple Watch, Lynch has been at Apple since 2013, and before that, he worked at Adobe and helped create Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform. In addition to working on the Apple Car, Lynch is expected to continue to be involved with the Apple Watch and Apple’s health initiatives.
Apple Car leadership has undergone several changes over the course of the last several years, which has caused development issues and internal strife. According to Bloomberg, the departure of former Apple Car leader Doug Field has been seen as a sign that the Apple Car isn’t coming in the near future, with product development still in the early stages.
The choice of Lynch to head the car project indicates much of the company’s focus still remains on underlying software and self-driving technology – rather than the vehicle’s physical mechanics. Lynch has been a software executive for decades, not someone who oversees hardware teams. He’s also never worked at a car company.
Ford on Tuesday announced that it hired Field to work on AI, software, and hardware projects. Field had been at Apple since 2018, and prior to that, he worked at Tesla and oversaw the production of the Model 3.
Rumors have suggested that we’re not going to see an Apple Car until the mid to late 2020s at the earliest, and it’s not clear how the most recent leadership changes might impact that launch timeline.