Apple Car project lead has reportedly left Apple

Has Apple’s rumored electric car initiative hit a road block? According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, one of Apple’s most respected veterans, Steve Zadesky, is allegedly leaving the company; Zadesky, who had prior experience at Ford, had been overseeing Apple’s mysterious car project for the past few years. It’s unclear how his departure will alter the project’s course.

“The team encountered some problems, according to people familiar with the matter, in laying out clear goals for the project,” WSJ said. “Apple has urged the team to push ahead with ambitious deadlines even though some on the team felt that those targets weren’t attainable.”

Apple’s car project was reportedly set for a “ship date of 2019,” which doesn’t necessarily mean when customers will get their hands on the product; WSJ says “ship date” simply means when Apple engineers sign off on a project’s main features. Sounds like that was too ambitious for Zadesky’s taste.

Zadesky had previously worked on the iPod and iPhone during his time at Apple, two projects that helped shape the company into what it is today. Was he overwhelmed by the task of delivering a third revolutionary product? Did he disagree with the timeframe set by Apple executives? All this is unclear—and all of it assumes Apple was aiming to release a car in the first place.

Apple has been on a hiring spree of engineers with automotive, so it would seem something is indeed in the works. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple’s car project is an open secret; you’d think someone of his stature would know a thing or two about what’s going on in the trenches of Apple.

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