Apple Has Software Engineer Poached By Volkswagen

Former Mercedes-Benz executive, and now former Apple executive Johann Jungwirth has agreed terms with Volkswagen to lead new department.

Apple Has Software Engineer Poached By Volkswagen

Jungwirth to lead new department

Volkswagen has announced that the new hire will lead the automaker’s “digitization strategy department.” The company did not, however, give the press any details about what the “digitization strategy department” actually does or will be responsible for creating.

This is not something new for Jungwirth who has held a few murky titles during his career. The Volkswagen Group says that he was heading Apple’s “special projects group,” while Apple hired him in a secretive manner about a year ago and bestowed the title of director of “Mac Systems Engineering.”

In its press release today, Volkswagen acknowledged both titles: “Jungwirth was named Director, Mac Systems Engineering at Apple in Cupertino, CA (USA), in 2014. He was responsible for innovation in design and engineering in product development as well as hiring, growing and leading a multicultural research & development team and supporting the Special Projects Group.”

However, at the end of the day, nearly every news outlet believes that Jungwirth was working on the long-rumored Apple Car project of which few details are known. This assumption stems from the fact that prior to joining Apple, Jungwirth was the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development division.

He also was the  vice president of infotainment and telematics. This division was responsible for the development of touch-screen systems for Mercedes vehicles during his tenure at that position.

Jungwirth’s future with Volkswagen

The hire of Jungwirth, in the words of Volkswagen is meant to “drive the digital transformation” at the German automaker’s headquarters. It’s quite clear that Volkswagen is serious about making inroads into the future of automotive technologies with Jungwirth tagged toi answer directly to Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller.

Jungwirth will likely get straight to work without the distraction of the scandal that has embroiled Volkswagen in recent weeks. That scandal was rooted in the group’s American diesel lines, a line that has nothing in common with the work that Jungwirth will presumably be pursuing which his LinkedIn profile suggests is over-the-air upgradeability.