According to his LinkedIn account and The Wall Street Journal, Apple has hired former Chrysler SVP Doug Betts into its "Operations" department. We've been seeing rising rumors and hints about an Apple car since February, capped off with Apple's own senior VP of operations saying that "the car is the ultimate mobile device" at the Code Conference this past May. Apple has previously been rumored to be hiring car experts and was even sued by an electric car battery maker for stealing its employees.
Betts, though, is an interesting choice if you just look at how he left his last job: amid problems at Chrysler. Betts was the "global head of operations - product and service quality" for the car company, yet left Chrysler in October of 2014 after it received poor quality rankings in Consumer Reports. It should be said, though, that Betts faced a tough task trying to improve quality ratings at Chrysler. Before that, he worked at Nissan and Toyota in similar, quality-focused roles. According to his LinkedIn page, he had a role in the supply chain portion of those businesses as well. So, definitely a car guy, definitely works for Apple now. The pieces are not difficult to put together, though of course that's no guarantee anything will actually happen.
Apple hiring Doug Betts is interesting, but keep in mind he left FCA last October after company did poorly in quality ratings.— Phil LeBeau (@Lebeaucarnews) July 20, 2015
The WSJ also notes that Apple also "recently recruited one of the leading autonomous-vehicle researchers in Europe." We've reached out to Apple to find out what precisely Betts' role will be, and will update if we hear back.
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