When Facebook made the corporate name change to Meta Platforms in 2021, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg also ushered in the beginning of the battle for “metaverse” dominance. Now, global technology leader Apple is taking bold measures to retain its engineering talent by issuing substantial stock bonuses as incentives. The unanticipated (and eye-grabbing) bonuses have reportedly ranged from $50,000 on the low end to a maximum as high as $180,000 in some instances, and are vested over a four-year period. The target has been high-performing engineers that could potentially make the leap to Meta as the virtual-reality race escalates.
Apple has long competed with Silicon Valley rivals like Google (Alphabet) and Meta for the area’s best and brightest talent, especially within specializations like design, software, hardware, and more. However, the company has also been accused of poaching high-impact talent from its competitors, including the recent hire of Meta’s former augmented reality communications director, Andrea Schubert. Some Apple engineers left out of the incentive program are predictably upset over the perceived arbitrary awarding of bonuses, which may motivate talent to defect to Facebook’s parent company. Apple’s new unexpected stock bonuses are on top of employees’ standard compensation packages, which include a base salary and stock units.