Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] thinks of itself as more Silicon Valley than Detroit, but its latest high-profile hire is a bit of both.

Tesla announced that it is hiring former Apple vice president Doug Field as its new vice president of vehicle programs.

Field previously oversaw product development at Apple as vice president of Mac hardware engineering. However, he started his career as an engineer for Ford. He was also Segway's chief technology officer.

Now that he's found his way back to the car industry, what exactly will Field be doing?

According to Tesla's statement, Field will be "responsible for driving development of new vehicles."

That's not a very specific job description, but it seems to indicate that Field will oversee the development of new vehicles like the Model X crossover and its third-generation car, tentatively known as the Model E.

Field isn't the only former Apple employee to be scooped up by Tesla.

The company's VP of sales and ownership experience, George Blankenship, was responsible for Apple's successful retail stores.

He brought a similar concept to Tesla, creating the Tesla Stores that are challenging the conventional franchise dealership model, and creating legal issues in states like Texas.

Tesla also recently posted a job listing for an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Controls Engineer, who will lead the company's in-house autonomous driving development program.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to build a self-driving car within three years.


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