Doug Field. Image courtesy of Ford
Ford has selected seasoned tech executive Doug Field to serve as its new Chief Advanced Technology and Embedded Systems Officer as the legacy automaker increasingly embraces the industry’s digital future. He will report directly to President and CEO Jim Farley.
Field’s lengthy title places him in charge of the iconic US car brand’s Embedded Software and Hardware organization. This gives him oversight over Ford's Vehicle Controls, Enterprise Connectivity, Features, Integration & Validation, Architecture & Platform, Driver Assistance Technology, and Digital Engineering Tools units.
In his new role, he will partner closely with Ford’s Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Hau Thai-Tang, to create the next generation of Ford’s connected products as part of the company’s Ford+ growth plan.
He will also work to develop the next-gen Blue Oval Intelligence tech stack, which allows the company to deliver smart, connected vehicles and services that can be consistently upgraded with over-the-air updates.
Field is no stranger to Ford as he started his career with the automaker in 1987 as a Development Engineer. He left the company in 1993 to join Johnson & Johnson and spent time at Segway before joining Apple as VP of Product Design in 2008. He would later join Tesla before returning to Apple five years later to lead the tech company’s secretive car project as VP of the Special Projects Group.
“Doug is one of the world’s most respected engineering and product design leaders and has been a driving force behind breakthrough products across auto, tech and mobility, including at Apple, Tesla and Segway,” Farley stated in the company’s announcement. “His talent and commitment to innovation that improves customers’ lives will be invaluable as we build out our Ford+ plan to deliver awesome products, always-on customer relationships and ever-improving user experiences.”
While Field’s hiring is a coup for Ford it is also another major blow to Apple’s secretive car development effort, codenamed Project Titan. Earlier this year the company had a very public setback after talks between Apple and Hyundai to manufacture its vehicle fell apart. Since then, Apple has since been linked to several major manufacturers but nothing has been set in stone.
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