Apple adds Nike exec to its roster

Nike-Fuelband-for-iPhoneWorking on digital technologies at Nike is starting to seem a bit like working in Apple’s farm system.

According to a report by 9to5 Mac, Apple has hired Ben Shaffer, who has served as the Studio Director of Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the division of the company responsible for the Nike+ FuelBand and other products, including, most recently, the company’s FlyKnit shoe. Shaffer will be joining Jay Blahnik, a fitness guru and one of the people who consulted on the creation of the FuelBand, who joined Apple last month.

The hiring of FuelBand alumni isn’t really a surprising move for Apple, which counts CEO Tim Cook (also a Nike board member) and former Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield among its FuelBand users.

Mansfield was recently moved away from his SVP role to a direct report to Tim Cook, working on “special projects.” It seems likely that Shaffer will be joining him to work on who-knows-what with Blahnik and former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve. The rumor mill has pegged the special projects team’s product as a smartwatch, though Apple has, true to form, not said anything about whether it is or isn’t working on a smartwatch.