Apple's Director of Machine Learning Resigns Due to Return to Office Work

Apple's director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, has resigned from his role a little over four years after he joined the company after previously being one of Google's top AI employees, according to The Verge's Zoë Schiffer.

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Goodfellow reportedly broke the news to staff in an email, saying his resignation is in part due to Apple's plan to return to in-person work, which required employees to work from the office at least one day per week by April 11, at least two days per week by May 2, and at least three days per week by May 23. "I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team," Goodfellow said in the email.

Apple employees began returning to Apple Park last month, with the three-day in-office work policy being enacted on May 23. Some employees have been unhappy about the plan to return to in-person work.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook during the summer, a group of employees said "Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple. This is a decision none of us take lightly, and a decision many would prefer not to have to make."

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Top Rated Comments

1Peace Avatar
29 months ago
I’m programmer who works from home.
I’ve never been so productive.
I’ve never been so rested.
Score: 283 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sniffies Avatar
29 months ago
You're not a marriage counselor to work from home. You work at a company that builds products, some are life-changing products, products that require maximum focus, productivity, discipline, quality check, again and again. At-home productivity will never equal at-work productivity. At-home discipline will never equal at-school discipline.

Just like you'd never be comfortable with a home-schooled heart surgeon; or get on a rocket built by engineers who worked from home.

Anyway, that said, good riddance to him. There are no irreplaceable people.
Score: 248 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mozumder Avatar
29 months ago
Absolutely no reason for anyone to work in the office. Zoom/Teams is perfectly fine, and likely more efficient than being in an office. I mean, you at least save the hour or 2 you waste commuting every day.
Score: 227 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clarkm Avatar
29 months ago
Apple will lose top talent to competitors because of this.
Score: 208 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
29 months ago
This is going to keep happening. It has nothing to do with Covid, either. People learned they can do their job effectively from home, and many feel downright insulted to have to come back to the office to work after getting into a comfortable work from home routine.

Companies need to adjust and realize that allowing employees who can do their job effectively from home to do so will only benefit everyone. This is especially the case for companies in the Bay Area where housing prices and cost of living are so high, a six figure salary can feel like poverty. I'm sure this particular high level employee didn't have that problem but a lot of lower level ones do, having to live further and further from work to afford a decent home. They also do the real grunt work that makes companies like Apple shine, and losing them will be very detrimental to the company.

Apple needs to rethink this, and let people continue working from home. My guess is they want to justify that insane campus they built.
Score: 208 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
29 months ago

Because they want you back in the office instead of taking numerous breaks? Slacking off? Running and doing errands while on the clock?
This is the dumbest take ever.

At the professional level there is no "clock". You have a job to do, you do it and get it done. That's it. If you do three hours of workin the morning, four hours in the afternoon and finish something up for an hour at 23:30 before bed, you're being just as effective as someone who has to go to the office do it in an 8-10 hour chunk.

People who want to slack off will do so at the office too. Eventually their low output will be noticed and they'll be talked to and possibly dismissed like any other bad employee.
Score: 187 Votes (Like | Disagree)