Some Apple Engineers Rewarded Up to $180K in Stock Bonuses as Incentive to Stay

Apple is providing stock bonuses to some engineers in order to prevent them from moving on to companies like Meta, reports Bloomberg. Last week, select engineers in silicon design, hardware, software, and operations were informed that they would be receiving a $50,000 to $180,000 stock bonus, which Bloomberg says is “unusual and significant.”

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Most engineers received stock worth $80,000 to $120,000, with the bonuses provided as restricted stock units that are set to vest over the course of four years provided the employees stay with Apple and do not take jobs at other companies.

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

Apple told managers that the bonuses could be provided to engineers as a reward for high performers, and it is likely meant to keep companies like Facebook parent company Meta from poaching employees. Meta has hired approximately 100 engineers from Apple in recent months, though Apple too has hired some Meta employees.

Meta is recruiting from Apple’s augmented reality, AI, and engineering divisions. Meta is planning to launch a smart watch in the near future that will directly compete with the Apple Watch, and when Apple launches its planned AR/VR headset, it will compete with the Meta-owned Oculus virtual reality headsets.

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