Why did Chris Lattner Apple Inc.

LLVM / Swift: Chris Lattner is moving from Apple to Tesla

With Chris Lattner, Apple loses one of its most important software developers. Above all, he excelled as a co-creator of the compiler infrastructure LLVM (formerly for Low Level Virtual Machine) and the Clang compiler frontend. He also made a name for himself as the one who started developing the programming language at Apple in 2010 and the designated Objective-C successor Swift. Lattner is the vice president of autopilot software for his new employer, Tesla.

Lattner had been employed by Apple since 2005, where he was in charge of the development of programming tools, which also includes Apple's Xcode development environment and the Swift Playground. LLVM was previously created at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and is now being developed within the framework of the LLVM Foundation, headed by Lattner's wife. In 2012 Lattner received, together with Vikram Adve and Evan Cheng, the prominent ACM Software System Award for their work on LLVM.

In his "farewell mail" to the Swift developers, Lattner announced that Ted Kremenek would take over the position of project manager for Swift development. However, he wants to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team.

Lattner justified his change with the fact that he would be able to distinguish himself in a different environment. He replaces Sterling Anderson at Tesla, who has probably left the company. Apple and Tesla have poached themselves several times in the past. In April 2016, Apple grabbed Tesla's head of development, Chris Porritt, for his car project. Shortly afterwards, David Masiukiewicz, who is particularly familiar with vehicle prototyping, moved to Cupertino.

[Update, January 11th, 2:26 pm: In another email, Lattner acknowledges that Kremenek has been the quiet but real head behind Swift (and Clang as well as the Clang Static Analyzer) for some time and that he would lead the Swift development team.](ane)

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