Apple has issued unusual and significant stock bonuses, some up to $180,000, to some engineers in an effort to retain talent, looking to stave off defections to tech rivals.
Apple Park, Cupertino, California
Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:
Last week, the company informed some engineers in silicon design, hardware, and select software and operations groups of the out-of-cycle bonuses, which are being issued as restricted stock units, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shares vest over four years, providing an incentive to stay at the iPhone maker.
The bonuses, which came as a surprise to those who received them, have ranged from about $50,000 to as much as $180,000 in some cases. Many of the engineers received amounts of roughly $80,000, $100,000 or $120,000 in shares, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the program isn’t public. The perk was presented by managers as a reward for high performers.
The payouts aren’t part of normal Apple compensation packages, which include a base salary, stock units and a cash bonus. Apple sometimes awards additional cash bonuses to employees, but the size of the latest stock grants were atypical and surprisingly timed, the people said. They were given to about 10% to 20% of engineers in applicable divisions.
The bonus program has irked some engineers who didn’t receive the shares and believe the selection process is arbitrary.
Technovanguard Take: Reportedly, Apple also paid the guy responsible for Universal Control $200K to go to Microsoft where “he’ll fit right in.”
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