Apple has hired the former head of BlackBerry’s automotive software group and the founder of QNX for its driverless car project, according to Bloomberg. Dan Dodge hasn’t worked with Blackberry since 2015, and now he’s an Apple employee. Dodge reportedly joined the team earlier this year, though the news is just coming out now.
How could the former BlackBerry executive help Apple?
Dodge was the founder of QNX Software Development Company, which was taken over by BlackBerry in 2010. Dodge now works in the group led by Bob Mansfield, the executive said to be heading Apple’s autonomous cars initiative. Since Mansfield assumed control, he has reportedly implemented a strategy change that now focuses on tech.
According to Bloomberg, with Dodge and Mansfield working together, Apple is moving its focus from an electric vehicle to self-driving programming. Despite the fact that Apple is not ruling out making its own car, it could probably to do so by associating itself with an established car maker.
Since QNX created navigation and entertainment software for automakers like Volkswagen, Daimler and Ford, Dodge has mastery in working on innovation-related partnerships with auto firms.
Apple exploring more revenue sources
This news comes months after Apple vowed to open a research and development facility in Kanata, Ontario. Besides this, Apple’s latest earnings results for the second financial quarter uncovered a declining interest in iPhones and a lower revenue year over year. This again indicates that Apple may be looking for alternative sources of revenue. During the earnings call on Tuesday Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that the company is taking a shot at a few initiatives beyond its present product offerings.
Dodge was a student at the University of Waterloo when he founded QNX in 1980. Later his company was acquired by Harman International Industries in 2004, and then by BlackBerry in 2010. In late 2015, Dodge resigned from BlackBerry subsidiary QNX. At that time, there was no word on Dodge’s future plans.
“My decision to leave was my own,” Dodge said when leaving BlackBerry. “I threw my own party, invited everybody from QNX that I’ve known over the last 35 years and we had a grand time.”
At that time, BlackBerry announced Dodge’s departure as a retirement.
On Thursday, BlackBerry shares closed up 0.53% at $7.62. Year to date, the stock is down almost 19%, while in the last year, it is down almost 4%. The stock has a 52-week high of $9.46 and a 52-week low of $5.96.