Innovative car manufacturer Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has once again poached a veteran employee away from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). As first reported by Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, Tesla hired Rich Heley in November, the same month the manufacturing specialist departed Apple. According to his LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) profile, Heley was hired as Tesla’s Senior Director of Manufacturing Technology.
Heley first began working for Apple in 2003 as a supply base engineer responsible for the manufacturing of many products, including the iMac G5, the Mac mini, the iPod shuffle, and the Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) PowerBook. In 2005, Heley worked as a senior mechanical process engineer in China followed by a stint as the senior manager of the iPhone engineering team from 2006 to 2009. In his work with the iPhone team, Heley oversaw the manufacturing process development for the first three generations of iPhone.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Heley later became the senior manager responsible for the mechanical manufacturing of the iPod, iPhone, and other accessory product groups before being promoted to director in 2011. Heley finished his career at Apple as the director of alloy engineering. In this role, he helped develop “new materials and manufacturing processes to enable product innovation.”
In general, Heley specialized in bringing Apple’s new products to market efficiently. As noted by 9to5Mac, this is a critical, albeit less celebrated, key to Apple’s overall success. It appears that Heley will have similar responsibilities at his new job with Tesla.
Heley described his job responsibilities at Tesla as “taking the most advanced car in the world and making it even better. The scope includes advances in Vehicle, Power Train and Battery technologies by conforming the manufacturing process to the best possible design without compromise. Bringing the fit, finish, and materials used to a level unprecedented in the automotive industry as well as continuing to advance the performance and efficiency through advances in manufacturing.”
Heley is not the first employee that Tesla has poached from Apple. In October, the electric car manufacturer announced that it had hired Doug Field, Apple’s former Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering, to be its Vice President of Vehicle Programs. Tesla also previously hired Apple veteran George Blankenship, the California-based company’s former Vice President of Real Estate. However, Blankenship no longer works for Tesla.
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