Bob Mansfield was always a happy face at Apple events in the past, when he showed off some of the amazing hardware that his team had invented. Mansfield retired a few years ago, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has asked him back to lead the "Project Titan" team that's developing the fabled Apple Car.
Mansfield's former domain included the hardware engineering of the MacBook Air, the iMac, and the iPad. Now he'll be running the show for Apple's autonomous electric vehicle project. Apple hasn't officially spilled the beans about Mansfield's return, but Apple employees apparently noticed recently that all senior Project Titan managers were reporting to Mansfield.
This is a good sign for Apple, if not for Mansfield. The last week saw reports that the intro date of the Apple Car had slipped by a year to 2021, and there have been consistent rumors that some high-level Project Titan employees have left. Having a strong leader with hardware -- but not automobile -- experience over the project should shore up investor confidence in the highly secret project.