Apple poached 'scores' of Tesla employees in recent months, but not all go to 'Project Tit...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2018
Apple appears to have stepped up its poaching activities involving Tesla employees over the past few months, luring away manufacturing, security and software engineers, and supply chain experts to work on the "Project Titan" self-driving car initiative and other products, according to a new report.

Elon Musk


Citing sources familiar with the hiring spree and LinkedIn data, CNBC reports Apple hired at least 46 people from Tesla in 2018. Some workers were poached, while others were laid off from the carmaker prior to joining the team at Cupertino.

Apple is ostensibly building out its Project Titan team with hires including former Tesla Autopilot, quality assurance, powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers, but the company is also adding manufacturing experts to its ranks.

According to a current Tesla employee who kept in touch with former colleagues, Apple appears to be placing renewed emphasis on manufacturing processes and equipment, the report said. The company outsources production to firms like Foxconn, but still offers input on new processes and techniques, as well as other areas of manufacture.

For example, Apple holds numerous patents relating to hardware manufacturing methods like "friction-stir welding," a welding process introduced with 2012's iMac revamp.

Other recent Tesla converts specialize in software, display, optics and battery technology, the report said, areas that apply to Apple's product lineup at large.

One Tesla engineer said former Tesla workers were attracted by better compensation, Apple leadership and the tech giant's products.

People familiar with the matter estimate technicians, software and manufacturing engineers get paid about one-and-a-half times more at Apple than they do at Tesla. Further, one former Tesla employee suggested Apple stock options are more attractive than they are at Tesla. The electric carmaker has yet to turn a profit, though CEO Elon Musk expects that to change sometime this year.

That lines up with a statement Tesla gave the publication about Apple's recent hires.
We wish them well. Tesla is the hard path. We have 100 times less money than Apple, so of course they can afford to pay more. We are in extremely difficult battles against entrenched auto companies that make 100 times more cars than we did last year, so of course this is very hard work. We don't even have money for advertising or endorsements or discounts, so must survive on the quality of our products alone. Nonetheless, we believe in our mission and that it is worth the sacrifice of time and the never ending barrage of negativity by those who wish us ill. So it goes. The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now.
Employees told the publication more employees were voluntarily leaving Tesla than in years past. The carmaker refutes assertions that people are departing for Apple at a higher than normal rate. Countering, Tesla told CNBC that voluntary attrition has decreased by one-third over the last twelve months, saying it also continues to hire employees from Apple and other companies. The story was different just three years ago.

Given inherent overlap in areas of development, Apple and Tesla constantly vie for each other's engineers. Musk in 2015 said attrition rates swing in Tesla's favor by a ratio of five to one, hinting that those who left the company were bad actors. At the time, Apple was reportedly offering some Tesla employees $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent raises to jump ship. Whether those incentives are still in effect is unknown.

Musk, who once called Apple the "Tesla graveyard," is also the cause of recent instability in his company's stock. Rants on social media, public takedowns during earnings calls and an August tweet about taking Tesla private have all contributed to a 15 percent dip in share prices.

Today's report comes on the heels of news that former Mac hardware engineer Doug Field returned to Apple after a nearly five-year stint as Tesla's SVP of Engineering. Field is reportedly working on Project Titan under Bob Mansfield, who previously served as Apple's SVP of hardware engineering.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    YvLyYvLy Posts: 72member
    The Story starts NOW. And it is bigger and bolder than I ever thought ... 
    Solitrashman69
  • Reply 2 of 43
    I wish they would quit calling it poaching. Poaching is an illegal activity. There is nothing illegal about offering someone a better job.
    cgWerksdewmelolliverSoliiqatedoRayz2016brisancemdriftmeyerslprescottwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,893member
    "Nonetheless, we believe in our mission and that it is worth the sacrifice of time and the never ending barrage of negativity by those who wish us ill. So it goes. The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    Queue the violin music... if this is the kind of thing they have to put up with, along with lower pay, I can see why they might want to get out of there.
    PickUrPoisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 43
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,894member
    jorgie said:
    I wish they would quit calling it poaching. Poaching is an illegal activity. There is nothing illegal about offering someone a better job.
    Totally agree. The Tesla statement strikes me as somewhat arrogant and self serving “us against the world” chest thumping done for public consumption. In fact, if Tesla is providing sufficient intrinsic rewards and job satisfaction for the vast majority of its employees, even under the very challenging conditions that they describe in their statement, their attrition rate should be quite low. This may be the case. How do the numbers reported as “scores” compare to industry norms? Either way, Tesla didn’t handle the criticism well, which seems to be a recurring condition with Tesla these days. Tesla seems to be losing its focus and confidence and it all starts at the top. 
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 43
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 43
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    Also, what the hell does that have to do with Tesla losing employees to Apple?
    irelandcgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 43
    If Tesla goes private, I’d think that would be a big negative from those employees that came onboard for stock options.

    A signing bonus + better salary is now better than what Tesla offers.

    Tesla could be facing a major brain drain.  I’m sure Google is “poaching” also...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 43
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 308member
    Musk is way over this head at Tesla. This is a surprise as SpaceX is a very successful venture. I'm surprised Musk is not leading Tesla as competently as he has SpaceX. 

    Musk's admission that he is sleeping in his office at Tesla is an admission of failure -- it's certainly nothing to brag about. 
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 43
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    larryjw said:
    Musk is way over this head at Tesla. This is a surprise as SpaceX is a very successful venture. I'm surprised Musk is not leading Tesla as competently as he has SpaceX. 

    Musk's admission that he is sleeping in his office at Tesla is an admission of failure -- it's certainly nothing to brag about. 
    Tesla - public company. SpaceX - private entity. Huge difference to someone as passionate as Elon Musk. Each one of Musk's enterprises would be enough for one competent man. SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell without doubt too, makes a huge difference at SpaceX.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,521member
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    They should have communicated their message better, but I don't get why that would be the bit you would latch onto in describing Tesla as a cult. Global warming is real, and so the world must change.
    iqatedo
  • Reply 11 of 43
    ireland said:
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    They should have communicated their message better, but I don't get why that would be the bit you would latch onto in describing Tesla as a cult. Global warming is real, and so the world must change.
    Both statements can be true at the same time. Tesla is a cult, and so is global warming.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 43
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,194member
    larryjw said:
    Musk is way over this head at Tesla. This is a surprise as SpaceX is a very successful venture. I'm surprised Musk is not leading Tesla as competently as he has SpaceX. 

    Musk's admission that he is sleeping in his office at Tesla is an admission of failure -- it's certainly nothing to brag about. 
    SpaceX full of ex-NASA engineers and scientists already know how to launch, design, assemble, test and produce a viable product for Space lifting. Tesla is a different beast.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 43
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    ireland said:
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    They should have communicated their message better, but I don't get why that would be the bit you would latch onto in describing Tesla as a cult. Global warming is real, and so the world must change.
    Want to demean a message? Call the messenger a cultist. Anthropomorphic climate warming was seen as a risk as early as 1912 (and perhaps earlier) and is happening.



    Long before cities are inundated permanently though, other impacts will be dire. If our blood pH dropped by as much as ocean pH has dropped, seizures and sudden death ensue:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans-annotated.html
    https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/ocean-acidification

    This is just one consequence. As you said, climate change is not a cult.
    avon b7
  • Reply 14 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,893member
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    Also, what the hell does that have to do with Tesla losing employees to Apple?
    I think... these employees apparently don't have the drive to sacrifice to save the world.

    I worked in a situation a bit like that years ago... i.e.: I should have been happy for the privilege to work under such brilliance, and be willing to sacrifice pay, family time, etc. for the cause. Unfortunately, the statement *really* rubbed me the wrong way given that experience.

    brisance said:
    ireland said:
    "The world must move to sustainable energy and it must do so now."

    And people complained about Apple being a cult!
    They should have communicated their message better, but I don't get why that would be the bit you would latch onto in describing Tesla as a cult. Global warming is real, and so the world must change.
    Both statements can be true at the same time. Tesla is a cult, and so is global warming.
    No doubt... real or not, it acts like a cult. And that immediately puts up my skeptical danger alerts, as legit science and movements usually don't have to act that way.
    dewme
  • Reply 15 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,893member
    iqatedo said:
    ... Anthropomorphic climate warming was seen as a risk as early as 1912 (and perhaps earlier) and is happening.
    ...
    This is just one consequence. As you said, climate change is not a cult.
    The debate isn't so much in terms of the climate science, as it is surrounding projections (models), hysteria, politics, and reaction.
    iqatedowatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 43
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    cgWerks said:
    iqatedo said:
    ... Anthropomorphic climate warming was seen as a risk as early as 1912 (and perhaps earlier) and is happening.
    ...
    This is just one consequence. As you said, climate change is not a cult.
    The debate isn't so much in terms of the climate science, as it is surrounding projections (models), hysteria, politics, and reaction.
    The discussion has veered a little. Still, in response to your comment, those models that apparently work best using retrospective data to produce outputs modelling today's climate, are those that predict the worst outcomes for the future:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609620/global-warmings-worst-case-projections-look-increasingly-likely/

    A huge problem with models is the reluctance of climate scientists to present the worst-case scenarios, which it seems in the end, might be the most accurate.
    tmay
  • Reply 17 of 43
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,084member
    My opinion: Tesla is (or at least could be) a great company that could change the world in ways not dissimilar to Apple -- and even on a larger scale, big-picture-wise -- but Musk is starting to believe his own hype, and turn into a Trumpian self-deluded figure. I sincerely hope he snaps back from it, but at the moment I'm sure he is behaving privately a lot like Jobs was at his worst, and I'm sure what we're seeing right now is the result of an internal morale problem.

    This isn't a zero-sum game, and for Apple to win Tesla does not have to lose. But I sincerely hope that Apple makes no moves to partner with or invest in Tesla, because the place seems to be a bit of a train wreck right now. Let it sort out its own issues.
    dewmecgWerkswatto_cobrabrisance
  • Reply 18 of 43
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    larryjw said:
    Musk is way over this head at Tesla. This is a surprise as SpaceX is a very successful venture. I'm surprised Musk is not leading Tesla as competently as he has SpaceX. 

    Musk's admission that he is sleeping in his office at Tesla is an admission of failure -- it's certainly nothing to brag about. 
    SpaceX full of ex-NASA engineers and scientists already know how to launch, design, assemble, test and produce a viable product for Space lifting. Tesla is a different beast.
    Which of those many physicists and engineers would have thought landing and re-using components was a good (achievable) idea, let alone had such experience? So much of what SpaceX is doing is new and groundbreaking. A whole lot.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 19 of 43
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,386member
    iqatedo said:
    larryjw said:
    Musk is way over this head at Tesla. This is a surprise as SpaceX is a very successful venture. I'm surprised Musk is not leading Tesla as competently as he has SpaceX. 

    Musk's admission that he is sleeping in his office at Tesla is an admission of failure -- it's certainly nothing to brag about. 
    SpaceX full of ex-NASA engineers and scientists already know how to launch, design, assemble, test and produce a viable product for Space lifting. Tesla is a different beast.
    Which of those many physicists and engineers would have thought landing and re-using components was a good (achievable) idea, let alone had such experience? So much of what SpaceX is doing is new and groundbreaking. A whole lot.
    STS (Space Shuttle) was designed for partial reuse 1981

    McDonnell Douglas DC-X and DC-XA was a program for a returning a launch vehicle and landing it upright for complete reuse.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X 1993

    Elon should get credit for ambition, as should Bezos, Paul Allen, Richard Branson, Burt Rutan, and many, many, others, but most of what Space X has done to date is based on previous NASA and industry work, and it isn't like their isn't anyone else out there doing innovation in Space and Aviation;

    https://www.stratolaunch.com

    https://www.blueorigin.com

    https://www.virgingalactic.com

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Launch_Alliance


    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 43
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,894member
    chasm said:
    My opinion: Tesla is (or at least could be) a great company that could change the world in ways not dissimilar to Apple -- and even on a larger scale, big-picture-wise -- but Musk is starting to believe his own hype, and turn into a Trumpian self-deluded figure. I sincerely hope he snaps back from it, but at the moment I'm sure he is behaving privately a lot like Jobs was at his worst, and I'm sure what we're seeing right now is the result of an internal morale problem.

    This isn't a zero-sum game, and for Apple to win Tesla does not have to lose. But I sincerely hope that Apple makes no moves to partner with or invest in Tesla, because the place seems to be a bit of a train wreck right now. Let it sort out its own issues.
    There is a very serious leadership flaw exhibited by both individuals you've mentioned. In the case of Elon Musk the flaw was flashed in bright neon lights when he said that he works 120 hours a week and must continue to do so to keep the company on track. There is no clearer way to broadcast the message "I alone can save this company/country from the challenges that it faces and my efforts alone will determine the success or failure of this company/country." This is a fatal leadership flaw. True leaders surround themselves with the most competent people they can find, typically through attraction, and instill a culture of trust, confidence, empowerment, shared purpose, shared celebration of success, merit based rewards, and performance driven benchmarking that elevates those people to perform at their best and enjoy doing it. Anyone who believes that working 120 hours a week is in any way productive and that they alone are the single pivot point for success or failure of any enterprise with more than one employee is seriously delusional and living a destructive power trip that's in a death spiral for themselves and everyone their actions impact. 

    Take another look at the statement attributed to Tesla and ask yourself whether you could ever, even in your wildest diversions of imagination, see that statement coming from Tim Cook, or even from the Steve Jobs that returned to Apple in 1997. No way, not in a million years, and not even if Apple tanked tomorrow. Elon Musk is an amazing person with an incredible intellect and boundless passion. But he is not yet the kind of leader he needs to be for Tesla right now. He needs someone like Tim Cook to help him reinvigorate the culture at Tesla. He also needs to recognize his own limitations before he burns out himself and Tesla, both of which have amazing potential that would be a shame to waste.


    edited August 2018 cgWerkswatto_cobrabrisance
Sign In or Register to comment.