Apple loses global battery chief, poached by Volkswagen
In early 2019, it was reported that Ahn had been picked up by Apple, poaching Samsung’s battery manager. Ahn has become Apple’s new global head of battery development.
Volkswagen plans to build six battery factories to supply the company’s electric vehicle ambitions, and Ahn appears to be a central part of the initiative, as he moved to Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, according to his profile. LinkedIn updated. Previously, he worked at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Ahn got his doctorate. in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University in Alabama, which is also Apple CEO Tim Cook’s alma mater. Prior to working at Samsung, he was a longtime executive at LG Chem, as vice president of energy solutions for the South Korean company.
The loss of Ahn could be seen as a blow to Apple’s “Project Titan” autonomous electric vehicle project. Batteries are at the heart of an electric car, and Ahn’s departure also ties in with the recent loss of Project Titan leader Doug Ford, who left for Ford in September.
Apple’s automotive project is now led by Kevin Lynch, who previously ran Apple Watch software. A recent Bloomberg report says Apple was accelerating its car project, with an internal timeline now noting four years, which could mean a car debuting as early as 2025 (no word if the Apple car will charge with Lightning or USB-C, however).