Bill Ford bought the old train station as a cool workspace for the high tech workers who will create the autonomous and electric vehicles of the future.
And now the person who will largely be in charge of the place comes to Ford from the makers of the iPhone.
For Doug Field, it’s a career coming full circle, as he becomes Ford Motor Company’s chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer.
Field started with Ford after college in the 1980s. Over the past decade, he has overseen the development of the Tesla 3 -- arguably the company’s best vehicle. He then moved on to Apple to help develop the Apple car, which is nowhere near fruition.
GuideHouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid said Field is a significant hire.
“He can bring a different perspective at the senior leadership ranks at Ford based on what he’s been doing over the last decade,” Abuelsamid said. “It’s not like driving a V-8 versus a V-6. They all basically feel the same, so you’ve got to find new ways to create product differentiation through that user experience ... I think this is where Field brings something to the table.”
Gartner auto analyst Mike Ramsey this is less about Ford’s win.
“He’s a good hire for Ford, but if you’re really looking at the impact on the industry, to me, it’s more interesting that he left Apple than joining Ford,” he said.