According to reporting from Fortune, Apple surprised a number of its engineers with year-end bonuses in late December. The bonuses came in the form of restricted stock units (RSUs), and ranged in value from $50,000-$180,000. The majority were roughly $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000. 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.
RNN reached out to Apple for comment on the reporting, and will update if there is a response.
Engineering hiring, always a challenge, has become a great deal harder as waves of resignations and early retirements have been hitting the global economy.
Meta (né Facebook) has been aggressively recruiting way Apple engineers, pulling away more than 100 in the last few months of 2021. These efforts will only accelerate as Facebook struggles to hire at least 10,000 additional engineers to build out its founder's vision of a metaverse. According to key hiring leaders at Facebook: “As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” according to the blog post from Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs, and Javier Olivan, vice president of central products.
In addition, Apple's self-driving car division is under steady assault from established players, ranging from Tesla to traditional automakers out of Detroit, as well as start-ups which are only increasing in numbers and funding. Google, as well, continuously targets the Menlo-based company.
Employee Dissatisfaction Rises
The company has struggled with its covid policies. Unlike other big tech companies like Meta, which has allowed employees to request to work from home permanently, Apple spent much of 2021 maintaining that it wants its workers to return to the office at least part-time when it is safe to do so. That has led to conflict with some of its workers, who fought this plan over the summer, a clash that evolved into AppleToo, a broader activist movement at the company.
On Christmas Eve, 500 retail employees walked off their jobs in response to what the group calls a toxic work environment.
In response to office staff defections and dissatisfaction, Apple repeatedly pushed back the date of return-to-office, similarly to hitting the snooze button on an alarm. By mid-December, the company essentially gave up on the idea, and declared that the new policy will delay bringing its workers back to the office until a "yet to be determined" date while giving all of its corporate and retail employees $1,000 to buy equipment for their home offices. The development was shared with Apple employees in an email from CEO Tim Cook, according to multiple reports which were then confirmed by CNN Business.