Steve Zadesky, one of the architects of the iPod and iPhone, was scarcely known outside Apple Inc. until Feb. 13, when The
Wall Street Journal reported that Apple, the world's richest and most valuable company, was designing a car.
It placed Zadesky, who came to Apple from Ford Motor Co. in 1999, squarely at the center of one of the auto industry's most talked-about projects. By leading the team behind Project Titan, as Apple's effort is known, he could help to set the course of the company's future forays into cars.
Apple, which is famously tight-lipped about its future plans, did not reply to a request for an interview with Zadesky. But in its story, the Journal said Apple CEO Tim Cook approved Project Titan in early 2014 and tapped Zadesky to lead it.
Cook reportedly authorized him to build a 1,000-person team by poaching employees from other Apple divisions and hiring people from outside the company.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Zadesky received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995, followed by a master's in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1996. He then joined Ford Motor Co., working there for three years before taking a job with Apple.
Zadesky was credited on Apple's patents for the original iPod as one of its inventors. Later in his tenure, Zadesky worked on the first-generation iPhone and landed his name on patents for that device as well.
On his LinkedIn profile, Zadesky says he has helped form teams for every generation of iPod and iPhone, plus "hundreds of Apple-branded accessory products." It says he loves to "create new product spaces and [deliver] challenging new technologies."
If it's true Apple is designing a car, he now has another chance to do just that.
-- Gabe Nelson