Rivian Hires Key Apple Executive in Strategic Move

Rivian has made a significant recruitment coup by hiring DJ Novotney, a distinguished Apple veteran.

Novotney, who played a pivotal role in developing Apple’s home devices and the initial efforts for an electric vehicle, will join Rivian as the Senior Vice President of Vehicle Programs. This move highlights another major departure from Apple, who recently delayed its electric car.

DJ Novotney, who served as a Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, communicated his departure to his colleagues this past Friday. His decision comes after nearly 25 years at Apple, where he was a key figure in the development of several product generations, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. His new role at Rivian will involve reporting directly to CEO RJ Scaringe, according to sources who preferred anonymity due to the private nature of this information.

Novotney’s impact at Apple was significant. He was instrumental in bringing the Apple Watch to market, working alongside COO Jeff Williams and former head designer Jony Ive. Approximately ten years ago, he was among the select few executives who initiated Apple’s project Titan, an ambitious endeavor to develop an electric vehicle.

In a memo to his Apple colleagues, viewed by Bloomberg, Novotney expressed his gratitude for being part of teams that developed iconic products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. He mentioned that Apple had been a significant part of his life but felt it was time to move on and contribute to new product developments.

Following the reorganization of Apple’s car project, Novotney transitioned to leading the development of future home devices, with a focus on robotics and artificial intelligence. His move to Rivian is seen as a major win for the electric vehicle manufacturer. In his new position, Novotney will oversee product management for products and engineering, positioning him as one of Rivian’s most vital executives.

This change in leadership at Rivian follows the departure of Nick Kalayjian, the previous executive in charge of development. Novotney is set to take on many of Kalayjian’s responsibilities.