The Apple car project has just lost another top executive tasked with advancing its carmaker aspirations. Former Apple manager Christopher “CJ” Moore is leaving the iPhone maker for Luminar Technologies, after working at Apple for a remarkably short amount of time: seven months.
This latest departure at Apple has to be one of the fastest cases of top-level employee turnover so far, which is saying a lot given the rate at which Apple executives have come and gone. In fact, Bloomberg says that at this point, almost all the leadership positions at the rumored Apple car project have been vacated:
Over the last two years, nearly the entire Apple Car management team has left. Earlier this month, Ian Goodfellow, another director on the Apple project, left for Alphabet Inc.’s DeepMind. At the same time, Apple has hired new managers from Ford, Rivian and other car industry players.
And while some of these seats have been filled by former auto industry workers, the churn can’t bode well for the Apple car project, internally known as Project Titan. Seriously, at this point I feel like the entrance to whatever well-appointed studio Apple is using (or not) for its car project should have a revolving door. Constantly spinning, as employees precariously jump between the openings in quick succession.
Moore is now the latest to leave the tech company. He joined Apple’s Project Titan in November 2021 to work on self-driving software for the Cupertino company, as reported by The Verge. Moore had been working for Tesla as a director and Autopilot software engineer beforehand. A few months prior to leaving Tesla, Moore refuted Elon Musk’s claims about Autopilot’s self-driving capabilities, but it’s neither clear nor certain that this is why he left Tesla.
It’s also unclear why Moore is leaving Apple for Luminar, where he’ll serve as global lead of software development for the Florida-based lidar company. My money is on Moore having stumbled into a secret room where Apple keeps its car prototype — rumored to be an autonomous car with no steering wheel — and the sight of it scared him away. I know I’m wrong, but humor me. Because if those rumors are true, then we should be calling Apple out for making a macOS desktop environment on wheels and then having the gall to say it’s a car.