Ford hires Apple marketing exec Musa Tariq to be chief brand officer

Apple marketing executive Musa Tariq is leaving the company after a couple short years and headed to Ford where he’ll become the company’s vice president and chief brand officer (via Automotive News).

“As we grow our business, we’re also expanding our focus on and investment in building and differentiating our iconic Ford brand, which is known, loved and trusted around the world,” Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. “Our opportunity is to connect with even more consumers and stakeholders — some who never have done business with Ford before — through compelling and culturally relevant marketing and communications. Musa has led transformational work at some of the world’s most admired brands, and he is a leader known for challenging convention. We’re excited for him to bring his expertise, knowledge and passion to Ford.”

Back in August of 2014, news broke that Apple had hired Tariq, a former social media chief for both Nike and Burberry, which was notable due to Apple’s lack of social media efforts compared with other tech companies at the time. He was also said to be close with Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts who he worked with at Burberry.

Apple has stepped up its social efforts since the hire, although it’s unclear if Tariq was directly involved in those initiatives through his role as the company’s Global Marketing & Communication Director for retail. Both Apple executives and official social media accounts for services like the App Store, support, and Apple Music have launched in recent years, for example.

The move is the latest in a series of executives that have jumped ship from Apple and taken positions in the automotive world. Two recent reports from this month detailed high-profile members of the Mac team headed to Tesla. Other longtime Apple employees have also joined Ford’s Communications team recently, including Colin Smith, former Apple PR director for 7+ years, who now serves as Head of Communications at Ford Silicon Valley.

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