Apple gives out-of-cy bonuses to top engineers

Apple gives out-of-cy bonuses to top engineers

Apple Inc. has issued unusual and significant stock bonuses for some engineers in an effort to retain talent, trying to stave off defections to tech rivals such as Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc.

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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 who know of the matter, are told by None Let s Move In Together And You Can Help Me Pay My Mortgage Last week. The shares vest over a four year period, giving an incentive to stay at the iPhone maker.

The bonuses, which were surprise to those who received them, ranged from $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some cases. Many of the engineers received amounts of around $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.

A company representative didn't want to say anything about the Cupertino, California-based company.

Apple is waging a talent war with companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, with Meta emerging as a particular threat. In the last few months, Meta has hired about 100 engineers from Apple, but it hasn't been a one-way street: Apple has also lured away key Meta employees.

The two companies are likely to become fierce rivals in augmented- and virtual reality headsets and smartwatches, with both planning major hardware releases over the next two years.

Read more: The brewing rivalry between Apple and Meta.

The payouts aren't part of normal Apple compensation packages, which include a base salary, stock units and a cash bonus. The people said that Apple sometimes awards cash bonuses to employees, but the size of the latest stock grants was atypical and surprisingly timed. They were given to about 10% to 20% of the engineers in the applicable divisions.

Some engineers who didn't receive the shares are irked by the bonus program and believe that the selection process is arbitrary. Some engineering managers received bonuses that were equivalent to the annual stock grant. If Apple's stock price continues to rise, their value will increase. The company's market cap is nearly $3 trillion, and the shares are up 36% this year.

Meta has stepped up its efforts to train engineering talent from Apple's augmented reality, artificial intelligence, software and hardware engineering divisions. The social media giant, which operates Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has dangled significant salary raises as it looks to focus on hardware and the so-called metaverse.

A talent drain has also hit other areas, including Apple's self-driving car team. The company needs to maintain its engineering prowess as it works on several next-generation devices, including the car, VR and AR headsets, and future versions of the iPhone.

At the same time, Apple s drumbeat to return to the office has jarred some employees, leading to engineering defections. The company has delayed its deadline for staff to come back, but it is taking a harder line on in-person work than some of its technology peers.

Apple expects corporate employees to work from the office at least three days a week, while hardware engineers will have to log four or five days a week. Meta and other companies are more lax with their policies.

Apple said this month that workers will likely stay at home for the foreseeable future. After reversing its office-return deadline, Apple said it would issue $1,000 bonuses to all corporate, retail and technical support employees so they can purchase home equipment.

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