Apple has hired Nike design director Ben Shaffer away from the athletic equipment manufacturer. Shaffer was the Studio Director of the Innovation Kitchen.
Apple has lured away top Nike design director Ben Shaffer, according to a source at Nike with knowledge of the details behind Shaffer’s departure. At Nike, Shaffer was the Studio Director of the Innovation Kitchen. This is Nike’s research and development lab where new product designs are created. Under Shaffer’s lead, Nike was named the most innovative company in 2013 by Fast Company. Nike’s Innovation Kitchen has been connected to wearable products like the popular Nike Fuel Band, and most recently, the Flyknit shoe.
Nike has confirmed that Shaffer is no longer with the company.
Shaffer’s experience with wearables at Nike could be a huge asset for Apple as they work to develop their own wearable technology, such as the much-rumored iWatch.
This isn’t the first Nike related personnel acquisitiion by Apple. In August, the company hired Jay Blahnik, a fitness expert and consultant, who worked with Nike on Nike+ Running and who was a key consultant for Nike+ FuelBand and Nike+ Kinect Training.