Apple Hardware Engineering VP DJ Novotney exits for Rivian

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 30

An Apple VP who helped start work on the electric Apple Car project is departing for another automotive company, with DJ Novotney heading over to Rivian.

Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T



DJ Novotney, an almost 25-year veteran at Apple, was the vice president of hardware engineering at the iPhone maker. However he is now ending his time at Apple, in favor of a new role elsewhere.

Bloomberg reports Novotney will become the SVP of vehicle programs at Rivian, and will report directly to Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

Novotney announced his departure at Apple with a memo, advising "Apple has been my life, but now is the time for me to move on and help bring to life a new set of products." He also said he has been "so very lucky along the way to be part of so many amazing teams that developed everything from iPod, iPhone, iPad, Watch, and so many more."

Along with multiple generations of core Apple products, Novotney also worked on one long-time project, the Apple Car. He is credited in the report as helping start the development of an electric vehicle under the project.

Later, he became a "senior executive in charge of developing future home devices," the report adds, including work in artificial intelligence and robotics.

Novotney isn't the only Apple employee to jump ship to Rivian in the last month. On January 22, Electrek reports Rivian had hired on Jonas Reinke, a four-year head of product, mobility and auto services at Apple, who previously spent over a decade at Porsche.

The new departure is the latest problem for the long-delayed Apple Car, which has apparently been pushed back to a 2028 release. At the same time, Apple allegedly downscaled its plans for the vehicle, from full automation to a Level 2+ system capable of limited autonomous functions, such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    9secondkox2williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    8thman said:
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    it's a young market that will grow much faster as Honda etc. get in on it. Hybrids and electrics make up half the cars on our street now. I expect that's why. Rivian is fighting some very bad reviews though.
    9secondkox2byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13

    8thman said:
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    And I'm not so sure about Tesla having a lead. At least not in being a functioning profitable company. 
    9secondkox2tmaywilliamlondonM68000watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Haha … you obviously don’t listen to their earnings calls or read their financials.

    TSLA is the most profitable car company, by far! I don’t own a TSLA and frankly I find their interiors quite spartan. However, many are willing to accept that and ❤️ their cars because of all the things TSLA does well … software updates, ALL electric, FAST and for the hope they deliver on Level 5 autonomy.

    When they do … Profits go to the moon! 🚀


    9secondkox2byronlwilliamlondongrandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Mistake. 

    He’ll be begging for his old job in one year. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13

    8thman said:
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    And I'm not so sure about Tesla having a lead. At least not in being a functioning profitable company. 
    What are you on about? Not only is tesla profitable, they built the foundation on which the copycats followed. They established the robust supercharger network and established a charging standard that everyone else is adopting now. and have had a top-notch operation for a long time. There was no government bailout for these guys in the lean years. And they’re only getting better while Rivian and others are money pits, big established companies are cutting back on EVs due to slowing demand, etc. Tesla is firing on all cylinders (to use a fossil fuel expression) and is an example of innovative automotive leadership. 

    I think too many people take their ideological differences and make an enemy out of Elon musk for it, causing some erroneous viewpoints to be applied to anything he’s involved with. 
    edited January 29 gatorguybyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Haha … you obviously don’t listen to their earnings calls or read their financials.

    TSLA is the most profitable car company, by far! I don’t own a TSLA and frankly I find their interiors quite spartan. However, many are willing to accept that and ❤️ their cars because of all the things TSLA does well … software updates, ALL electric, FAST and for the hope they deliver on Level 5 autonomy.

    When they do … Profits go to the moon! 🚀


    You better read the full financial details. Tesla is only 'profitable' thanks to tax dollars it get's payed, they are not profitable on their own.

    9secondkox2tmaywilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Haha … you obviously don’t listen to their earnings calls or read their financials.

    TSLA is the most profitable car company, by far! I don’t own a TSLA and frankly I find their interiors quite spartan. However, many are willing to accept that and ❤️ their cars because of all the things TSLA does well … software updates, ALL electric, FAST and for the hope they deliver on Level 5 autonomy.

    When they do … Profits go to the moon! 🚀


    You better read the full financial details. Tesla is only 'profitable' thanks to tax dollars it get's payed, they are not profitable on their own.

    You mean the same tax dollars that other EV platforms get, yet aren’t anywhere near profitable? 

    Tesla also has launched affordable models. That’s what put them on the scale needed to be profitable. 

    Now look at Rivian…

    But there is some good news. They are taking Musks advice and gearing up to launch a much cheaper vehicle. That they feel will help them turn things around. 

    EVs are a “bag of hurt” to quote jobs. Ford slashed production of it’s lightning truck by 50%, slashed production of its Mach e suv, and saw a healthy initial demand disappear. GM slashed EV production and isn’t yet profitable in that segment. Rivian is… in trouble. 

    We will see how Apple does in this segment. I’m expecting expensive vehicles, but vehicles that make a profit from the start. That’s the Apple way. But clearly they haven’t nailed how to do so just yet. 

    Meanwhile, Tesla is over here showing everyone how it’s done. That deserves kudos. Not scorn. 
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,194member
    8thman said:
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    it's a young market that will grow much faster as Honda etc. get in on it. Hybrids and electrics make up half the cars on our street now. I expect that's why. Rivian is fighting some very bad reviews though.
    It will inevitably grow as government mandates manufacturers shift to EV production only. 

    And also cause rapid aging of national car fleets, but hey, eggs, omelettes.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    byronlbyronl Posts: 366member

    8thman said:
    Why go to an EV maker when they are all slowing from lack of sales. Tesla has a HUGE Lead, as do the Chinese, BYD brand
    And I'm not so sure about Tesla having a lead. At least not in being a functioning profitable company. 
    Tesla made 15 billion in profits in 2023 and has almost 30 billion in cash... 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    Haha … you obviously don’t listen to their earnings calls or read their financials.

    TSLA is the most profitable car company, by far! I don’t own a TSLA and frankly I find their interiors quite spartan. However, many are willing to accept that and ❤️ their cars because of all the things TSLA does well … software updates, ALL electric, FAST and for the hope they deliver on Level 5 autonomy.

    When they do … Profits go to the moon! 🚀


    You better read the full financial details. Tesla is only 'profitable' thanks to tax dollars it get's payed, they are not profitable on their own.

    You mean the same tax dollars that other EV platforms get, yet aren’t anywhere near profitable? 

    Tesla also has launched affordable models. That’s what put them on the scale needed to be profitable. 

    Now look at Rivian…

    But there is some good news. They are taking Musks advice and gearing up to launch a much cheaper vehicle. That they feel will help them turn things around. 

    EVs are a “bag of hurt” to quote jobs. Ford slashed production of it’s lightning truck by 50%, slashed production of its Mach e suv, and saw a healthy initial demand disappear. GM slashed EV production and isn’t yet profitable in that segment. Rivian is… in trouble. 

    We will see how Apple does in this segment. I’m expecting expensive vehicles, but vehicles that make a profit from the start. That’s the Apple way. But clearly they haven’t nailed how to do so just yet. 

    Meanwhile, Tesla is over here showing everyone how it’s done. That deserves kudos. Not scorn. 
    Tesla Stan accuses others of misinformation by quoting misinformation…

    GM hasn't slashed EV production, they've been slow to ramp up new models vs early annoucements. That has by months with some vehicles like the Equinox slightly delayed. That has been due to delays in opening new battery factories for various reasons. That is expected to change almost immediately.

    Blazer sales were halted while they correct some software bugs in the infotainment system. The Bolt has ended production to open up the line for other models, but will be coming back in Ultium form next year.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    9secondkox2 said: There was no government bailout for these guys in the lean years. 
    Think again. Carbon credits came from the cap/trade system created by governments. There was a long period of time where Tesla selling their carbon credits was the profitable part of the business. 
    edited January 29 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,661member
    Mistake. 

    He’ll be begging for his old job in one year. 
    What?  Because of the always two-to-four years away Apple Car?  Don’t make me laugh!

    Apple has been hiring automotive engineers for the last 7 years for the car that will never come.   Many have come back to the Automotive world where products are actually being produced.  

    I don’t see this as a real big plus to Rivian or minus to Apple.  It’s just churn.   Rivian is in dire need of cost reduction and Apple is trying to outsource building a car by buying 1000s of off-the-shelf components and slapping some Apple-designed skin on it to sell at 40% margins.

    Rivian is doing it for their life and Apple thinks there’s some crazy money to be made in EVs because 2014 when they started, Tesla was the hot new commodity.

    Apple could just buy a Chinese EV company, but the state would require a local joint-venture.  Apple isn’t that dumb.  But they’re also not desperate.  They have a few billion dollars to throw around and still come out smelling fine.  

    chasm
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