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Apple to reportedly lose key executive on electric car project

Steve Zadesky to leave Apple for personal reasons, according to Wall Street Journal

Apple has not commented on the report
Apple has not commented on the report

The man leading Apple's electric car project, Steve Zadesky, is to leave the company after 16 years of service, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said that Zadesky's departure from Apple was down to personal reasons, and was not tied to performance. The report added that he has been working on the still-unconfirmed project for the last few years, and had previously worked on the development of the iPod and iPhone.

The report did not say when Zadesky would be leaving Apple - at the moment, his LinkedIn profile still says that he is employed at Cupertino. Naturally, Apple has not commented on the report.

While Apple has not acknowledged that it is building an electric car, the company has made significant hires related to automobiles over the past 18 months, poaching executives from Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

And Elon Musk, the CEO of electric-car maker Tesla, has publicly said that the Apple car project is "an open secret".

At first, it appeared that Apple might outsource the building of a car to another manufacturer. Last year, CEO Tim Cook took meetings with BMW's senior leadership at the firm's headquarters in Munich. He was also given a tour of the company's factory in which the BMW i3 electric car is built.

However, further talks between the two companies were reported to have broken down after Apple appeared to have wanted to develop a car on its own. Other reports suggested that BMW was the one to end the discussions, as it did not want to become a simple supplier to another company that owns the customer.

These reports have been based on insider interviews, with neither company making official statements about them.