Apple is awarding up to $180,000 in stock bonuses to some engineers in an effort to keep them at the company instead of moving on to other companies, such as Meta, reports Bloomberg.
Last week, select engineers in silicon design, hardware, software, and operations were told that they would be receiving a $50,000 to $180,000 stock bonus, which Bloomberg calls “unusual and significant.”
Many of the engineers received amounts of roughly $80,000, $100,000, or $120,000 in shares, said Bloomberg’s sources, who asked not to be identified because the program isn’t public. The perk was presented by managers as a reward for high performers. The awards are in the form of 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.
Meta has hired close to 100 engineers from Apple in recent months, recruiting from Apple’s augmented reality, AI, and engineering divisions. Meta and Apple compete in many of the same arenas, as Meta is currently working on an Apple Watch competitor that it expects to launch in the near future, while Apple is working on an AR/VR headset that will compete with Meta’s Oculus VR headsets.