Aiming to gain traction in electric cars, Ford hires a former executive from Apple and Tesla.

Ford Motor said on Tuesday it had hired the senior executive who ran Apple’s secret car project to help the automaker push electric vehic...


Ford Motor said on Tuesday it had hired the senior executive who ran Apple’s secret car project to help the automaker push electric vehicles further.

Executive Doug Field will be responsible for turning Ford vehicles into software-driven products that can interact with customers and deliver new kinds of services, something Ford and other automakers believe will become more important. Mr. Field’s title will be Director of Advanced Technologies and Embedded Systems, and he will report to Ford General Manager Jim Farley.

At Apple, Field, 56, held the title of vice president of special projects and was instrumental in a multi-year effort to develop an electric vehicle. His departure could be a blow to Apple’s automotive ambitions, which have been the subject of intense speculation.

Prior to working at Apple, Mr. Field was vice president of engineering at Tesla, where he led the development of the company’s Model 3 car, its most affordable vehicle. Early in his career, Mr. Field worked for several years as an engineer at Ford.

The hiring is sort of a coup for Ford, which, like other mainstream automakers, has lost executives and engineers to tech startups and companies. As a sign of the importance Ford places on Mr. Field’s return, the company held a conference call for reporters with Mr. Field and Mr. Farley on Tuesday.

“I think the auto industry is in a time of profound change,” Field said on the call. “Electrification, software and connected vehicles and autonomy will change everything. Too often, these new technologies are put forward by start-ups.

At Ford, he added, he saw “a deep desire to really change and embrace these technologies.”

Mr Farley said Ford plans to build an executive team around Mr Field. “We’re going to compete for talent,” Mr. Farley said. “We are not finished.”

Mr. Field, a graduate of Purdue University and MIT, worked at Ford from 1987 to 1993. He also spent nine years at Segway, the maker of the upright scooter, and five years in hardware engineering at Apple before joining Tesla. in 2013. He left Tesla in 2018 as the company struggled to mass-produce the Model 3, joining Apple.

When asked on the call if his latest departure from Apple marked the end of the tech company’s plans to develop a car, Field declined to comment.

Ford has already started selling electric vehicles. His Mustang Mach-E sport utility vehicle sold well and the company has taken tens of thousands of reservations for an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck, which will go on sale next year. Ford expects 40% of the vehicles it manufactures to be electric by 2030.

But Ford and other mainstream automakers have yet to go as far as Tesla in turning cars and trucks into software products that can be enhanced and changed with over-the-air updates like smartphones.

“What excites me is doing this with a company like Ford with this level of history and scale,” said Mr. Field, adding that Mr. Farley and Ford Executive Chairman William C. Ford Jr., are “100 percent committed to solving this problem.

Credit…Dane Rhys / Reuters

The Biden administration said on Tuesday it would provide $ 700 million in grants to meat packing, farm and grocery workers to help cover some of the financial hardships essential workers faced during the pandemic. .

The grants will be distributed to state agencies, tribal entities and nonprofit groups that typically support these workers, who had to go to work even amid the deadliest coronavirus outbreaks. The groups will be eligible to receive grants of up to $ 50 million, which they can distribute to workers, particularly to “hard-to-reach” immigrant communities who often work in meat packing plants and in commercial farms.

The Agriculture Ministry said the money could be used to help workers cover the cost of pandemic-related expenses such as personal protective equipment and dependent care and expenses associated with quarantines and virus tests. Eligible workers can receive up to $ 600. At least $ 20 million in grants will be earmarked for grocers.

“We recognize that our farm workers, meat packers, and grocers have overcome unprecedented challenges and taken significant personal risks to ensure that Americans can feed and support their families throughout. pandemic, ”Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Credit…Jeff Chiu / Associated press

In the nearly 18 months since the pandemic forced companies to send their employees to work from home, the date companies planned to bring workers back to the office has changed again and again. It was first in January, a full year after the coronavirus first appeared in China. January slipped to July, as tens of millions of people lined up across the country to get vaccinated.

But then the wave of vaccinations peaked and the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus led to another increase in cases. For many companies, September became the new July.

Now September is an option, and anyone can guess when the workers will be returning to their offices in large numbers, Reporting by Kellen Browning, Lauren Hirsch and Coral Murphy-Marcos for the New York Times.

Businesses have new variables to consider, including:

  • Hide mandates that have been abandoned and ordered back.

  • Evidence that the efficacy of vaccines, although still strong, may be in decline.

  • Booster shots.

  • Exhausted workers who are vaccinated at varying rates.

There are also different infection rates across the country and a dynamic power change between employers and employees.

“I’ve been in HR for 30 years, and this is probably the most difficult crisis I’ve ever faced,” said Laura Faith, senior director of people experience and operations at Uber. “It’s really about life and death, health and safety.”

In addition to Uber, companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks have announced that they will postpone their return dates to next year. Executives say their rationale for the long delay is twofold: In addition to wanting to keep employees out of harm’s way, they are looking to end the roller coaster of early return dates and additional delays. The jerks make planning difficult for employees, and the hope is that a distant due date won’t need to be adjusted again.

Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger admitted in an interview that the new wave of Covid-19 cases had “definitely stretched things.”

“It’s a challenge for all of us,” he said. “We raise our hopes, we are ready to resume our normal life in quotes, and then we take a few steps back. “

Credit…Stephen Lam / Reuters

The rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has disrupted return-to-office plans for many companies, while others have already ordered employees to be at their desks.

Here is the last of Coral Murphy-Marcos of the New York Times on when companies announced their intention to back to office, and if they go need vaccines when they do:

  • Apple encourages employees to get vaccinated, but has not announced a mandate. The company has delayed its back to office date until January from October.

  • CVS will require its pharmacists to be fully immunized by Nov. 30, while others who interact with patients and all company staff have until Oct. 31. The company told employees that most of its offices will reopen on Tuesday.

  • Goldman Sachs forced his employees to return to the office in June, and he is require them to be fully vaccinated to enter its American offices from Tuesday.

  • Google said in July he would require employees returning to company offices to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. He said on August 31 that he would push back his return to office date to January 10, from mid-October.

  • Starbucks is to “encourage” employees to get vaccinated. The company has pushed back its return to office date to January 2022, starting in October.

Credit…Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

A California bill would require warehouse employers like Amazon to disclose productivity quotas for workers and ban any quotas that prevent workers from taking state-imposed breaks or using the restroom when needed, or that prevents employers from complying with health and safety laws.

The legislation has met with stiff opposition from business groups, who argue it would lead to an explosion of costly litigation and punish an entire industry for the perceived excesses of a single employer.

“They take on a business, but at the same time, they lure everyone else in the supply chain under that umbrella,” said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association, at the edge of which Amazon is seated.

California plays a disproportionate role in the e-commerce and distribution industry, both because of its huge economy and its status as a technology hub, and because it is home to the ports through which much of the world arrives. stocks imported from Amazon. The Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles has one of the highest concentrations of Amazon fulfillment centers in the country.

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, declined to comment on the bill, but said in a statement that “performance goals are determined based on the actual performance of employees over a period of time” and that they take into account the employee’s experience as well as health and safety. considerations.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Aiming to gain traction in electric cars, Ford hires a former executive from Apple and Tesla.
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