Apple Offering Huge Bonuses as Tech Talent War Intensifies

Apple, Los Angeles, United States - 19 Nov 2021
Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP /

The tech talent poaching wars are intensifying as 2021 draws to a close. Apple is reportedly offering huge bonuses to some of its employees to prevent them from defecting to Meta Platforms.

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Bloomberg reports that last week the company informed some engineers in silicon design, hardware, and select software and operations groups of the out-of-cycle bonuses, which are being issued as restricted stock units, per the outlet’s sources. The shares vest over four years, providing an incentive to stay at Apple.

The bonuses have ranged from $50,000 to $180,000 in some cases, and many of the engineers received amounts of roughly $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000 in shares according to sources — who asked not to be identified because the program isn’t public — Bloomberg adds. The perk was presented by managers as a reward for high performers.

Apple and Meta have been in a talent war for some time now, and Meta has hired about 100 former Apple engineers in recent months, Bloomberg reports.

But Apple has also lured away key Meta employees, reportedly hiring Andrea Schubert, Meta’s communications and public relations lead for its augmented reality (AR) products, according to Bloomberg’s Power On Dec. 26 newsletter.

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Earlier this month, Apple said it was delaying its corporate return-to-office deadline from Feb. 1 to a “date yet to be determined,” according to Bloomberg.

CEO Tim Cook sent an email to employees in which he noted concerns over “rising cases in many parts of the world and the emergence of a new strain of the virus.” Cook also strongly encouraged employees to receive vaccinations and booster shots, saying “this is by far the best way to keep you and your community safe,” according to Bloomberg.

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Bloomberg reported that in the memo, Cook also said the Cupertino, California-based company will provide each employee a $1,000 bonus that may be used for work-from-home needs, saying it’s “in support of our commitment to a more flexible environment.”

“These funds are intended to help you with your home workspace and can be used as you see fit. You will be receiving more information about this shortly,” he said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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