Apple’s director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, has submitted his resignation just a little more than four years after he had joined the Cupertino firm. Goodfellow had come to Apple after being one of Google’s top AI employees.
The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer reports that Goodfellow broke the news to his staff via email, saying his resignation was partially due to Apple’s required return to in-person work. “I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” Goodfellow said in the email.
In March, Apple announced that employees would soon begin returning to the office, with a requirement to be there two days a week minimum by May 2. As of May 23rd, the policy will shift to a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday office schedule.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has called in-person collaboration benefits “irreplaceable” and in an email, the executive team talked about the importance of “the serendipity that comes from bumping into colleagues” during in-person work.
A group of disgruntled Apple corporate employees last week wrote an open letter to the Cupertino firm’s executive team complaining about its new work-from-home policy that allows for only two days of working from home each week.
The employees said that Apple’s reasoning for the policy doesn’t stand up, calling the policy wasteful and inflexible, leading to a “younger, whiter, more male-dominated, more neuro-normative, more able-bodied” workforce.