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Ford is preparing for an autonomous future.

Ford has hired former Apple employee Musa Tariq as its new vice president and chief brand officer. Tariq will help lead the Ford brand as it transitions from an auto manufacturer to a mobility company.

The Dearborn-based company says Tariq will be "responsible for further building and differentiating the company's Ford brand." More bluntly, Tariq will likely be tasked with differentiating Ford's autonomous vehicles from that of industry rivals.

"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," said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. "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."

Ford plucked Tariq from Apple where he held the position of Global Marketing and Communication director for Retail. In that role Tariq oversaw the retail experience of over 490 Apple stores worldwide.

Prior to Apple Tariq served as senior director of Social Media and Community at Nike and also as global head of Digital Marketing at Burberry. He was also also Burberry's first-ever director of Social Media.

Tariq, 34, will begin work at Ford on January 30.