Jan 11, 2017 - Energy & Environment

Hot in Silicon Valley: Tesla poaches from Apple, Plouffe to Facebook

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

Tesla hires one of Apple's top software guys

Elon Musk's car company has hired Chris Lattner to lead its Autopilot software team—a big hire as Lattner is credited with creating Apple's mobile programming language, Swift.

Irony: Musk once called Apple "a Tesla graveyard," adding, "If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple."

Tesla's clear message: Its Autopilot software is top priority.

  • Tesla made its name as an electric car company, but autonomous cars are its ultimate goal.
  • Its Autopilot software is a critical part of its self-driving technology, and Tesla has chosen an expert who has developed something as fundamental as a programming language.

David Plouffe will help Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic efforts

Obama's 2008 presidential campaign manager is headed to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to lead public policy efforts. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, formed the organization in late 2015 to take on ambitious goals like curing human diseases and improving education.

That's not all: Ken Mehlman, who managed Bush's 2004 presidential campaign, will lead the organization's new public policy advisory board while continuing to work for KKR, a private equity firm.

What it means: Zuckerberg is gearing up to take on big political battles for his philanthropic quests. It's also hard to ignore that Plouffe's other job in Silicon Valley is to advise Uber, a company known for its aggressive tactics and occasionally loose interpretation of laws.

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