Mark Gurman of Bloomberg claims that Apple is facing a flux of departing employees from its iCloud, Health, and Artificial Intelligence teams. In his exclusive ‘On Power’ newsletter, Gurman lists that the leads of Health AI research and iCloud infrastructure are amongst the employees moving on to other companies because of lack of innovative work, high rate of hiring, and the company’s remote work policy.
In June, Apple announced its hybrid back-to-office plan for September with three days of physical work from the office and two days remote work model. But immediately, a reasonable fraction of employees pushed back claiming that the productive remote work model enabled the company to launch several new products, including the iPhone 12 series and M1 Mac models, and expressing that they will leave if the senior management did not revise the plan. Although Apple did not bulge from the hybrid work model because of the employees’ protest, it pushed the return to office date by a month due to a surge in cases of the new COVID-19 Delta variant.
Apple’s leading engineers leave for Google and other companies
Emily Fox, former in-charge of Health AI research, and Ruslan Meshenberg, former leader of Apple’s cloud infrastructure team have left to take up positions in a university and Google, respectively. According to Gurman’s assessment, the turnover is happening because:
Apple brought on an atypically high number of engineers for those groups from Netflix, Amazon, Google and other companies in recent years. With a high rate of hiring eventually comes a high rate of departing — especially in Silicon Valley.
Second, those engineers probably wouldn’t need to be in the office if it weren’t for Apple’s requirements. So engineers from those teams could be looking for companies that offer remote opportunities over the longer haul.
Third, the employees may be less optimistic about their work. What gigantic advancements have we seen in recent years from those groups?
He noted that Apple only upgrades cloud service by launching iCloud+ and few new features after several years this year, the AI team added better on-device processing for Siri but still awaits a major revamp of the assist and the Health team has been struggling with internal issues.
Earlier, Gurman reported that retention and recruitment of talent have been a struggle for the Cupertino tech giant. That’s why the company is in a decentralization process from the tech Valley in search of valuable talent.