It was recently reported that Apple hired Meta AR communications chief, Andrea Schubert, ahead of the launch of its rumored mixed-reality headset slated for 2022. Now, the Cupertino tech giant is trying not to lose its own engineers to Meta by incentivizing employees with significant stock bonuses worth up to $180,00.
Apple offering major stock bonuses to engineers to prevent defection to Meta
An employee poaching war is seemingly taking place between Apple and Meta As reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, Apple has issued “unusual and significant stock bonuses.” In the article, Mark Gurman says that these bonuses “have ranged from about $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some cases.”
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, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shares vest over four years, providing an incentive to stay at the iPhone maker.
(…) Many of the engineers received amounts of roughly $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 presented by managers as a reward for high performers.
According to sources close to the matter, this kind of compensation is not routine at Apple as usual employees receive a base salary, stock units, and a cash bonus. They said it was an “atypical and surprisingly timed” bonus offered to about 10% to 20% of engineers in applicable divisions.
The bonus program has irked some engineers who didn’t receive the shares and believe the selection process is arbitrary. The value of some of the bonuses equaled the annual stock grant given to some engineering managers. And their value stands to increase if Apple’s stock price continues to rise.
The tech giant’s Apple Car project also lost several executives this year. In addition, Apple’s eagerness to bring its employees back to the campus has led to engineering defections. As of now, the company has delayed the deadline for staff to come back but it expects corporate employees to work from the office at least three days per week with hardware engineers required to log four or five days a week. On the other hand, Meta and other companies intend to be more flexible with their policies.
It makes sense that the tech giant has to keep its engineering talent motivated as it has a ton of projects in the works including Apple Car, VR and AR headsets, and next-gen iPhones.