Apple picks a well-known executive to lead its electric car team

Bob Mansfield is best known for Macs and iPads, but now he's heading up Project Titan.

There's been a lot of talk about Apple's not-so-secret Project Titan electric car project, but... who runs it? We now have an idea. Wall Street Journal sources understand that Apple has picked Bob Mansfield, one of the company's better-known executives, to helm its EV efforts. He'd effectively left the company in 2013 and only made a partial return after Apple scrambled to keep him (the Apple Watch is partly his baby), but he's reportedly back in the swing of things now that Titan is ramping up -- all senior managers in the car initiative have to report to him.

Neither Apple nor Mansfield are commenting on the apparent leak.

If accurate, the move might inspire some confidence. You may only remember Mansfield as the man who dove into technical details in Apple promo videos, but he led the hardware engineering behind some of the company's biggest hits, such as early iPads, the iMac and the MacBook Air. He may not be an automotive expert, but he has a knack for making the company's hardware visions become reality. That's particularly important when Apple is entering an unfamiliar field and needs every bit of help it can get.