Update: Tesla has announced that Lattner is joining its Autopilot team. Read more on Electrek.

Veteran Apple employee Chris Lattner shared publicly today that he is leaving the company after more than a decade. Lattner is widely known in the Apple development community as dev-friendly force within the company and the leading figure behind Apple’s Swift programming language.

Lattner is also the creator of the LLVM project and worked at Apple since 2005 where he headed up developer-focused projects including Xcode. As Project Lead, Lattner has been the voice of Swift for Apple until now. He writes that Ted Kremenek will become the new Project Lead for Apple’s Swift programming language following his exit from the company.

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 Swift.org. 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.

As for the future of Swift, Lattner adds that Swift 4 is currently in development and will ship with Kremenek’s lead. Back in December, Apple reiterated its plans to release Swift 3.1 in Spring 2017; we’ll likely hear more about Swift 4 at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference typically held in early June.

Lattner’s departure comes one year after Swift officially went open source which was promised from the start.

Aside from modern developer iOS apps, Apple’s programming language has been the focus of the company’s Playgrounds iPad app which offers a fun introduction to the programming language.

Apple has promoted Swift at free workshops at its retail stores using the Playgrounds app as well.

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About the Author


Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.