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Apple handing out big staff bonuses to stop Meta AR defections

Apple is giving its AR engineers huge bonuses of up to $180,000 to keep them from being poached by Meta.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple has issued significant stock bonuses of between $50,000 and $180,000 in a bid to retain its top engineers. These generous bonuses are being issued as restricted stock units that will vest over four years, which should provide a considerable incentive to stick with the company.

They’re not part of Apple’s usual compensation package either, and are said to be something of a surprise in terms of both size and timing. It’s an indication of the huge competition for talent right now in Silicon Valley.

This impromptu scheme has apparently annoyed some of the Apple staff who didn’t receive a bonus. It seems only 10 to 20% of the eligible engineers received such a sweetener, and the selection process for said scheme is being viewed in some quarters as arbitrary.

Meta (the parent company of Facebook) has hired as many as 100 of Apple’s engineers in recent months, apparently offering “significant salary raises”. It seems Apple’s insistence on a return to work in its office has irked some of its staff into defecting too. There’s also been a talent drain in Apple’s self-driving car team.

This isn’t all one-way traffic, however. Apple for its part has managed to poach away some of Meta’s key talent, including the company’s AR public relations lead, Andrea Schubert.

Meta recently put one over on another of its AR rivals, Valve, by acquiring specialist optics supplier ImagineOptix. It seems the virtual reality war is getting very real indeed.

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