Apple Bringing Former SurfaceInk Collaborators In-House
Late last month, we noted that Apple had apparently parted ways with longtime engineering design partner SurfaceInk over the consulting firm's recent efforts to create and design entire products for third parties. The final straw appears to have been a prototype tablet being shopped around by SurfaceInk, a move Apple viewed as a possible competitive threat.
Apple doesn't appear to be going without the services of a number of SurfaceInk's engineers, however, as a number of them appear to have recently moved over to be in the direct employment of Apple. While it has not been uncommon for SurfaceInk employees to make the transition directly to Apple over the years, there certainly appears to be a significant number of them making the move just as Apple drops its partnership with SurfaceInk itself.
According to LinkedIn profiles, we've identified four engineers from SurfaceInk who became Apple employees as of August 2010: Paul Yuan and Alex Yeung (Product Design Engineers), Jared Kole (Product Development Engineer), and Craig Leong (R&D, Mechanical Engineer). In addition, Josh Pong and Margie Duffy moved in August from SurfaceInk to become Product Development Engineers at Apple through staffing firm Ryzen Solutions, while William Yarak took a Consulting Product Design Engineer position with Apple just this month.
In total, we have documented at least seven former SurfaceInk employees who have reported moving to Apple in just the past few weeks, with several more appearing to have moved earlier this year. Consequently, it appears that Apple may have picked up for itself a substantial portion of the SurfaceInk expertise it had been relying upon for collaborations on engineering design for its products.