It’s Tesla vs. Apple in tech talent war

Remember that old talk that Apple should buy Tesla? That’s so last year. Or two years ago. Now there’s news that involves both companies, but it’s about a battle between them, not a merger. It’s all about talent.

At least 150 Tesla employees used to work at Apple, according to Bloomberg, which says that’s “more than from any other company, even carmakers.” They include Doug Field, vice president of vehicle programs at Tesla. George Blankenship, a former Apple executive, was vice president of sales at Tesla till he left in 2013. The electric-car maker has 6,000 employees.

It’s not hard to see the similarities between Apple and Tesla. They both make sleek, high-end products that inspire lust. “From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg.

Why else might Apple employees be defecting to Tesla? Strong leadership by Musk, who’s known as a visionary like former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. From Bloomberg: “A former Tesla worker who didn’t want to be named says that Musk is enamored with Apple and relishes comparisons between himself and its co-founder.”

What’s more, Tesla seems to be winning the poaching battle. Musk told Bloomberg that Apple “tries very hard to recruit from Tesla” by offering $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent salary increases, “but so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.” Apple had no comment, of course.

 

Photo from AFP/Getty Images

 

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  • RussellL

    Learning from his predecessor to not put anything in writing, when Elon confirmed he had talks with Apple, Cook probably told Musk to stop poaching his employees.

 
 
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