Poaching is just as popular in corporate jungles as in the humid, arboreal kind, but in The Big Smoke it isn't illegal. Volkswagen just bagged another scalp by hiring electrical engineer Johann Jungwirth (above right, when he was with Mercedes) from Apple, where his job title was "Director, Mac Systems Engineering." The official line is that he was "focusing on building great Mac products," but everyone figured he was working on Apple's so-called Project Titan electric car.

That's because Apple poached Jungwirth from Mercedes-Benz only just over a year ago. The Romanian native had been with Daimler since 1997, spending his last five years with the company as chief of Mercedes' Silicon Valley research and development division - the selfsame that helped bring us the F 015 "Luxury in Motion" autonomous car. Before that, he was the VP of Connected Car, User Interaction, and Telematics, developing touchscreens for Mercedes cars.

His job title at VW is "Head of Digital Transformation," overseeing a brand new corporate department. His LinkedIn profile translates the mumbo-jumbo as "[leading] the digital revolution with autonomous driving," via "easy-to-use user experience design and engineering," being quickest to market with "agile software development," and "over-the-air software upgradability." It appears as though his remit covers the entire suite of company brands, and he will report to Group CEO Matthias Müller, who looks to be reevaluating the entire Volkswagen Group electric car strategy now that the whole "Clean Diesel" thing didn't work out so well. This is a path that will not surprise some EV advocates.


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