Staff retention. Apple is reportedly issuing a rare $180,000 bonus to select number of engineers to stave off defections to Facebook parent Meta
Apple is paying selected engineers a huge bonus in order to retain their services and stop their defection to Meta Platforms (Facebook) and others.
According to Bloomberg, Apple issued significant stock bonuses to a selected number of engineers, ranging from between $50,000 to as much as $180,000.
It seems that Apple last week informed the lucky engineers in silicon design, hardware, and select software and operations groups of their windfall.
The out-of-cycle bonuses are being issued as restricted stock units, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
The shares are apparently spread over a four year period, in an incentive for the selected engineers to stay at the iPhone maker.
The bonuses reportedly came as a surprise to those who received them, with many of the engineers gaining approximately $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000 in shares, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the program isn’t public.
The perk was reportedly presented by managers as a reward for high performers.
A representative for Apple reportedly declined to comment.
The payouts aren’t part of normal Apple compensation packages, which include a base salary, stock units and a cash bonus.
Bloomberg reported that Apple sometimes awards additional cash bonuses to employees, but the size of the latest stock grants were not typical and surprisingly timed, the people said.
They were given to about 10 to 20 percent of engineers in applicable divisions.
Of course, those that didn’t receive such a generous bonus are reportedly not very happy about the matter, with some engineers reportedly believing the selection process was arbitrary.
So what areas is Apple competing against Facebook?
Well according to Bloomberg, Meta has emerged as particular threat to Apple’s workforce retention, after it reportedly hired about 100 engineers from Apple in the last few months.
That said, the talent flow has not been a one-way street, as Apple has also reportedly lured away key Meta employees.
The two companies are set to become fierce rivals in augmented- and virtual-reality headsets and smartwatches, with both planning major hardware releases over the next two years.
One of the most notable Project Titan departures took place in September, when Doug Field, who was vice president of special projects at Apple, joined Ford as chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer, reporting to President and CEO Jim Farley.
The hiring of Field was viewed as a hiring coup for Ford’s Farley. Before he joined Apple, Field had also been senior vice president of engineering at Tesla.
Just before Christmas, Apple scrapped its February date for staff returning to offices and campuses, and did not bother to set a new return date, opting instead for a “yet to be determined” date.