It is not clear why Apple suffered such an exit of staff last year, We always suspected it was a terrible place to work and was held together using the Jim Jones management model. But it could be a sign that all is not well with the fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult.
This week Tesla poached Chris Lattner as its new Vice President of Autopilot Software. Lattner has been at Apple for 11 years and was its senior director of developer tools. The Swift programming language, which Apple launched back in 2014, and which the company has been encouraging its app developers to build Mac and iOS apps in was Lattner’s creation along with Xcode.
He is a big name but he is not the only top engineer to clean out his desk and head for Tesla. Matt Casebolt, who was a director of product design at Apple, left the company in December. His exit was telling he was the guy behind the Mac Pro, the MacBook Pro with Force Touch trackpad, MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Retina MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air. He had been at Apple for more than nine years and his name is on a shedload of patents. He was one of Jony Ive’s close-knit team of designers and engineers who are legendary for their low turnover. But Casebolt was the second to go that year. Danny Coster, a core member of Apple’s design team under Ive for over 20 years, left to join GoPro. Costerwas the lead designer on the first iMac.
Another bloke heading to Tesla was Timothy Hatcher, who spent eleven years at Apple on the WebKit team.
While the Tame Apple Press has played down the moves saying that Apple is a big company and it is always going to lose a few. However, these were long term staffers who were not working on Apple’s car project and they are going to a car company.
But the Verge said that Apple is losing more than just engineers. Three members of Apple’s PR team have left for car companies in the last few months.
All this with news that Apple cut production of the iPhoneby ten percent for the first quarter of 2017 and a SEC filing last week showed Apple missing its internal profit goals for the first time suggests that there is something up.
Apple shuttered its Project Titan, the Apple Car project, causing hundreds of hardware and software engineers left the company.
Gizmodo has provided a handy cut out and keep list of high-level employees who have cleared out their desks in 2016 with where they went. It makes alarming reading:
Bob Kupbens, VP Apple online store - eBay
Hiroki Asai, VP global marketing communications
Danny Coster, director of product design (member ofJony Ive’s industrial design team) - Go Pro
Sarah O’Brien, PR - Tesla
Colin Smith, PR - Ford
Michaela Johndrow, PR - Ford
Chris Lattner, director of developer tools - Tesla
Matt Casebolt, director of product design - Tesla
David Erhart, director of reliability engineering - Tesla
Chester Chipperfield, special projects - Tesla
Charles Kuehmann. director of product design - Tesla
Steve Zadesky, Project Titan (Apple car) boss
Sal Soghoian, product manager of automation technologies
Daniel Gross, software director- Y Combinator
Thomas Zwingman, senior staff reliability engineer - Tesla
Sankarshan Murthy, product manager, worked on Apple Watch and iPhone 5C - Tesla
Timothy Hatcher, software engineering manager on WebKit - Tesla
Teresa Brewer, PR - SurveyMonkey
Bart Nabbe special projects - Faraday Future
David Finkelstein, manager of cryptographic security - Google
Ryan Walsh, senior product for media - Floodgate
Andrew Graham, motion sensors engineer - Tesla
Brooke Michael Kain, head of digital marketing for Apple Music and iTunes - AEG Live