Apple is trying very hard to hire engineers away from Tesla Motors, says Elon Musk. Speaking with Bloomberg, the CEO claims that the Cupertino company is gunning hard for his employees, offering them as much as $250K signing bonuses and 60% salary increases.
This is interesting for a few reasons, one being that Apple was recently spotted driving unmarked minivans around the Bay Area with complex rooftop cameras. It’s believed the vehicles are either working on a new Street View-like Maps feature, or a driverless system.
Keep in mind that Apple already has various other interests in the auto industry, including Siri Eyes Free and CarPlay. But if the $250,000 bonus figure is true, that would mean the company is looking for top engineers, not just low-level guys to tack on side projects.
Of course the hiring push could also just be a form of payback—Tesla has hired more employees away from Apple than any other company. Bloomberg says it’s poached at least 150 former Apple staffers in recent years, who now work in legal, engineering and other divisions.
It’s not hard to see why the two firms are so intertwined—they have a lot in common. Musk believes that “from a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned,” and his employees say the CEO relishes comparisons between himself and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Apple declined to comment.