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The creator of Swift, Apple’s new programming language, is leaving for Tesla

Chris Lattner is the father of Apple’s app creation tool that debuted in 2014.

The Verge

The head of Apple’s Swift programming language is leaving the company, according to an email he posted to a community forum.

Chris Lattner said that he was stepping aside as project lead for Swift as he prepares to leave the company later this month for an unspecified new venture. Ted Kremenek will take over his duties, Lattner said.

(Update: Tesla announced Tuesday afternoon that Lattner was joining to head its autopilot software efforts.)

Apple introduced Swift in 2014 as an all-new way to write apps for Apple devices and then released the software into the open-source community in 2015.

Lattner has been at Apple since 2005 and most recently has been a senior director heading its developer tools organization.

Before Apple he created LLVM, another set of open-source programming tools.

Lattner’s post on was highlighted earlier Tuesday in a post on Daring Fireball.

Here is Lattner’s full note:

Since Apple launched Swift at WWDC 2014, the Swift team has worked closely with our developer community. When we made Swift open source and launched we put a lot of effort into defining a strong community structure. This structure has enabled Apple and the amazingly vibrant Swift community to work together to evolve Swift into a powerful, mature language powering software used by hundreds of millions of people.

I’m happy to announce that Ted Kremenek will be taking over for me as “Project Lead” for the Swift project, managing the administrative and leadership responsibility for This recognizes the incredible effort he has already been putting into the project, and reflects a decision I’ve made to leave Apple later this month to pursue an opportunity in another space. This decision wasn't made lightly, and I want you all to know that I’m still completely committed to Swift. I plan to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team, as well as a contributor to the swift-evolution mailing list.

Working with many phenomenal teams at Apple to launch Swift has been a unique life experience. Apple is a truly amazing place to be able to assemble the skills, imagination, and discipline to pull something like this off. Swift is in great shape today, and Swift 4 will be a really strong release with Ted as the Project Lead.

Note that this isn’t a change to the structure - just to who sits in which role - so we don’t expect it to impact day-to-day operations in the Swift Core Team in any significant way. Ted and I wanted to let you know what is happening as a part of our commitment to keeping the structure of transparent to our community.


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