Apple Vs. Facebook 'Poaching' War Leads To As Much As $180K Stock Bonuses For Engineers At iPhone Maker

Apple Inc AAPL is issuing surprise stock bonuses to its engineers in an effort to prevent poaching from potent rivals such as Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc FB.

What Happened: The bonuses range from $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some instances, according to a report from Bloomberg Tuesday.

The Tim Cook-led company informed some engineers in silicon design, hardware, and select software and operations groups of the bonuses, which comprise of restricted stock units, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Some engineers received shares to the tune of $80,000, $120,000 or $120,000 in shares, as per Bloomberg’s sources.

The payouts to engineers are reportedly not a part of Apple’s compensation packages although the company sometimes doles out additional cash bonuses.

See Also: How To Buy Apple (AAPL) Shares

Why It Matters: Apple is in a talent war with the Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta. The social media behemoth has hired 100 engineers from the iPhone maker, noted Bloomberg.

Apple too has made a move on Meta’s human resources. Recently, Apple hired Andrea Schubert, head of communications and public relations for Meta’s augmented reality initiative. 

Apple is developing augmented reality glasses but also has been working on an AR/VR headset, as per technology journalist Mark Gurman.

Meta is also the parent of Oculus, a manufacturer of virtual reality equipment. The company is rebranding to focus on the Metaverse, a virtual online environment.

The social media firm's poaching talent from Apple has spanned divisions such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, software, and hardware engineering divisions. Apple's self-driving car team has also been a target of talent poachers, reported Bloomberg.

The Instagram parent has reportedly used significant salary raises as a lure.

The bonus program has led to consternation among engineers who did not receive the bounty, according to Bloomberg.

Apple’s employees and the tech giant are in a standoff over work-from-home. This summer some employees threatened to quit the company over a return-to-desk mandate.

More recently, the company sent a memo to its staff telling them that return to office has been delayed from Feb. 1 to a “date yet to be determined.”

Price Action: On Tuesday, Apple shares closed nearly 0.6% lower at $179.29 in the regular session and rose almost 0.3% in the after-hours trading. On the same day, Meta shares traded almost unchanged at $346.22 in the regular session and rose 0.5% in the after-hours trading.

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