Apple has issued unusual and significant stock bonuses to some engineers in an effort to retain talent, looking to stave off defections to tech rivals such as Facebook owner Meta platforms.
The agency informed some engineers in silicon design, hardware and select software and operations groups of the out of cycle bonuses, which 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.
The bonuses which came as a surprise to those who received them have ranged from about $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some cases. Many of the engineers received amounts to 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.
Apple is waging a talent war with companies in silicon-valley and beyond, with Meta emerging as a particular threat. Meta has hired about 100 engineers from Apple in the last few months, but it hasn’t been a one-way street. Apple also has lured key Meta employees.
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The two agencies are likely to become fierce rivals in augmented and virtual-reality headsets and smart watches with both planning major hardware releases over the next two years.
The payments 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 was atypical and surprisingly times, the people said. They were given to about 10 percent to 20 percent of engineers in applicable divisions.