In late 2012, Apple executive Bob Mansfield assumed additional roles as Scott Forstall and John Browett left the company. It was announced at that time that Mansfield would lead a new Technologies group that would unify all of Apple's semiconductor and wireless teams.
Less than a year later, he was relieved of those duties and moved over to the special projects division where he would report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Now, Mansfield has been moved once again.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Mansfield is now overseeing development of Project Titan, the codename for Apple's secret vehicle division rumored to be working on an electric (and possibly autonomous) vehicle.
The publication notes that Mansfield had stepped away from day-to-day operations after working on the Apple Watch which the company introduced last year. Sources say Mansfield would occasionally pop in for a visit but that's about it.
Earlier this month, however, some Apple employees noticed that in the company directory, all the senior managers on the car project were suddenly reporting to Mansfield.
Sources say Mansfield, who was one of the top executives under co-founder Steve Jobs, is known as a leader with a record of delivering challenging technical products to market. Although Apple has never publicly acknowledged that it is working on a vehicle, they have reportedly hired a lot of veterans from the automotive industry to work along the hundreds of people already working on the project.
Just last week, reports surfaced that former Project Titan boss Steve Zadesky left the company in January after 16 years of faithful service. As a result, the project's debut is said to have been pushed back to 2021.