Elon Musk fired shots at Apple last October, calling the tech company the "Tesla graveyard" for its penchant for hiring former Tesla employees.
"Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired," Musk told the German publication Handelsblatt at the time. "We always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard.' If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."
He added: "Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla. But so far they've actually recruited very few people."
Days later, in the same month, he sort of backed off his Apple bashing, tweeting:
"Yo, I don't hate Apple. It's a great company with a lot of talented people. I love their products and I'm glad they're doing an EV."
Well, in retrospect, perhaps Musk shouldn't have backed off his original claim at all. On Tuesday, Electrek.co exclusively reported that Apple has hired former Tesla vice president of engineering Chris Porritt for its "Special Projects."
"Project Titan" has widely been reported as the working name for Apple's car project, with Porritt more than well-equipped to run it, counting experience as a chief engineer for Aston Martin and also having reportedly worked on Tesla's Model S, Model X and newly-introduced Model 3.
AppleInsider.com says Porritt's new title with Apple will be "Special Projects group PD administrator."
Landing Porritt is quite the coup for Apple, considering the back-and-forth poaching battle in which the two companies have been engaged. It's even more significant when you consider that Apple has been able to lure engineers from Tesla, but not a senior exec in the form of Porritt.
The next level is the technology companies competing on the road. Although Tesla has a head start in that department, should it be concerned that some of its former minds are helping to power Apple's reportedly impending debut vehicle?
Well, the reason to not be overly concerned would be the fact that Bloomberg reported that Tesla has hired 150 former Apple employees — ranging from engineers to lawyers to human resources staff — as of February 2015.
This race is just beginning ... and we haven't seen anything yet.