Global Director of Safety Leaves Ford to Join Apple

Ford is one of the original American car companies. While there’s a lot of prestige in working at Ford, sometimes a Ford executive will simply move on to greener pastures. That’s precisely the case with Desi Ujkashevic, Ford’s global director of safety, until she resigned from the company. Here’s why Desi Ujkashevic left her position as Ford’s global director of safety and joined Apple instead.

Desi Ujkashevic is possibly going to make cars after joining Apple

Apple logo on a window on a building.
Apple logo | Getty Images

According to Automotive News, Ford claims that Ujkashevic had retired from the company after working at Ford for over 30 years. However, she was recruited by Apple to lead the tech company’s efforts to make an EV. Interestingly, this high-level move comes a few months after one of Apple’s executives, Doug Field, who worked on the Apple car, left the company to join Ford.

According to Automotive News, Field was just one of many high-level departures from the Apple car project. Key managers in charge of aspects like hardware engineering, robotics, and sensors left the company, though not all of them went to Ford. Some of those engineers even went and joined flying taxi startups.

With high-level turnover, it makes sense for Apple to recruit some high-level executives to fill those positions. Ujkashevic would just be one of the latest high-profile acquisitions from Apple, and she’s in good company, too. Like Automotive News wrote, Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW executive, Stuart Bowers, a former Tesla executive, and Jonathan Sive, an ex-manager at Tesla, Waymo, and BMW, are all working on the Apple car. 

An overview of the Apple car project

Apple is still hard at work designing the car, and Ujkashevic may be necessary in getting the car to the finish line. Until then, not much is currently known about it. What is known is that Apple plans on releasing it by 2025. That being said, like many things in the tech world, release dates can change, especially if something goes wrong in the process.

As for what it’ll look like and what it’ll do. What is known is that it’ll have two high-tech features. First, Apple wants to be a green and eco-friendly company, so the Apple car will be an EV. Its specifications are currently a mystery, and it’s not known what segment it’ll be competing in.

The other notable feature is that Apple wants the Apple car to be fully self-driving. Apple has invested a lot of money into that, but like other cars with supposed self-driving capabilities, it’s not known how automated it is in the real world. Like any other car claiming to have self-driving capabilities, safety is key. That’s exactly why hiring someone extremely qualified like Ujkashevic may get Apple over the finish line.

Here’s a look at why Desi Ujkashevic is extremely qualified to join Apple

Like Automotive News said, Ujkashevic has worked at Ford since 1991. She has a lot of experience with engineering and regulatory issues, which is a skill that’s likely important to Apple. Since self-driving cars have had many legal issues, having someone like her on the team could give Apple a lot of invaluable experience.

On top of having experience with regulatory issues, Ujkashevic has also worked on many Ford models, including some of Ford’s newest EVs. According to Automotive News, she’s also worked on the Ford Escape, Explorer, Fiesta, Lincoln MKC, and Aviator.

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