Now might not seem like the time to take a job at Volkswagen, what with the continually unfolding and increasingly grim emissions scandal currently rocking the automaker. But amid a slew of high-profile VW folks stepping down, at least one person just took a big new job with the Group: Johann Jungwirth, formerly of Apple, just joined Volkswagen's headquarters in Germany.
That's , which details Jungwirth's new role at VW as head of the Digitalization Strategy Department. Jungwirth is rumored to have worked with Apple's still-unconfirmed car project, allegedly codenamed Project Titan.
Such a role at Apple would make sense for Jungwirth. Prior to joining Apple in 2014, the software engineer served as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, where he oversaw Mercedes tech projects including autonomous driving and electric drivetrain development, .
Volkswagen only describes the new Digitalization Strategy Department as "reinforcing its position in digitalization," which is both vague and redundant. But given Jungwirth's experience in autonomy and electric drivetrains—concepts that both Apple and Mercedes have expressed strong interest in—perhaps his move to Volkswagen signals part of the beleaguered automaker's plan to move beyond the diesel emissions scandal.
Either that, or Jungwirth planned this career change before the emissions scandal broke and now he's stuck with it. It's hard to know, really.