'Scores' of Employees Have Left Tesla for Apple Over the Last Year

by

Dozens of Tesla employees have left Tesla for Apple since late 2017, according to research conducted by CNBC.

The Tesla employees that have left Tesla have joined multiple departments at Apple, with the hires not limited to Project Titan, Apple's car development effort.


In 2018 so far, LinkedIn data shows Apple has hired at least 46 people who worked at Tesla directly before joining the consumer electronics juggernaut. Eight of these were engineering interns. This year Apple has also hired former Tesla Autopilot, QA, Powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers, and several global supply chain managers. Some employees joined directly from Tesla, while others had been dismissed or laid off before joining Apple.

A Tesla engineer who has kept in touch with his Apple colleagues spoke to CNBC and said that based on what he's been told, Apple appears to be taking steps to "more tightly control manufacturing processes and equipment used to make products."

A number of Tesla employees who have switched over to Apple have not yet updated their LinkedIn profiles with their new job descriptions, including notable hire Doug Field.

Field, who previously served as Apple's VP of Mac hardware engineering, rejoined the company after spending five years at Tesla overseeing the production of the Model 3. Field's hiring, along with rumors from noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, have led to speculation that Apple is once again developing a full Apple-branded self-driving vehicle rather than focusing solely on autonomous software.

Tesla employees told CNBC that Field's departure from the company led to a dip in morale among engineers and technicians at Tesla. Even before Field left, however, more people were leaving Tesla for other companies like Apple.

According to Tesla, voluntary attrition has decreased by one-third over the last 12 months, with the company also claiming that it has added talent from Apple and other companies. From a Tesla spokesperson:

"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."

Apple's "leadership, competitive pay, and products" are among the driving factors that have encouraged employees to leave Tesla for Apple. Multiple sources told CNBC that Apple pays about one-and-a-half times the salary for technicians, software, and manufacturing engineers compared to Tesla.

Other employees have cited Apple stock and the volatility of Tesla CEO Elon Musk as factors for leaving.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 months ago

And yet Apple Maps and Siri are almost unusable

I used Maps for a 4000km road trip in France and Spain. They have been flawless.

Siri, like all other digital assistants, is in its infancy.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
I am certain many would disagree, and for good reasons, but I think if Apple would acquire Tesla, which probably would require about $70B worth of cash and/or stock swap, many problems would be solved.

Tesla and Elon would no longer need to seek funding and talk to investors directly. And gain access to Tim Cook's supply chain and manufacturing leverage power and experience.

For Apple, Apple will be able to fold its Project Titan and CarPlay projects into Tesla and immediately gain access to charging stations and battery technologies.

Of course, the merger assumes Elon would be content running only the product and engineering side of businesses. Steve Jobs apparently did, but I am not sure Elon would be "fine" being under Tim Cook's leadership.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

Ive is an acclaimed designer, Musk not. Cook is a supply chain genius, Musk not. If Apple ever acquires Tesla, they would fire Elon next day.

Musk is a visionary, and a genius at seeing the big picture. He is more like Jobs than either Ive or Cook.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

Never going to happen. Elon Musk is looney tunes. I wouldn’t want him anywhere near Apple.

“Do you wanna sell watch bands for the rest of your life or do you want to come with Elon and change the future of transport and energy consumption”

Love Apple. Hate the past 5 years. Invested long in tesla. Elon has balls and ambition. Meanwhile Captain Cook and his crew are giving us more watch straps, $5k laptops that you can’t service and have abandoned the Mac line.

You tell me who is the loony tune.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago
It has to do with job-security and a wish to live, not Apple Car.

None of them want to go to Mars!:D
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
25 months ago

I am certain many would disagree, and for good reasons, but I think if Apple would acquire Tesla, which probably would require about $70B worth of cash and/or stock swap, many problems would be solved.

Tesla and Elon would no longer need to seek funding and talk to investors directly. And gain access to Tim Cook's supply chain and manufacturing leverage power and experience.

For Apple, Apple will be able to fold its Project Titan and CarPlay projects into Tesla and immediately gain access to charging stations and battery technologies.

Of course, the merger assumes Elon would be content running only the product and engineering side of businesses. Steve Jobs apparently did, but I am not sure Elon would be "fine" being under Tim Cook's leadership.

Never going to happen. Elon Musk is looney tunes. I wouldn’t want him anywhere near Apple.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...