Apple is giving away huge stock bonuses to engineers working on silicon design, hardware and software in a fresh bid to prevent defection to rival companies, particularly Facebook parent Meta Platforms, which has recently embarked on a massive Metaverse project, reported Bloomberg.
The report claims the bonuses were offered to 10% to 20% of engineers across various divisions and were in the amount of $50,000 to $180,000. Some of the company insiders told Bloomberg that this was atypical and surprisingly timed.
The bonuses are being offered as restricted stock units that will vest over four years, providing the employees with an incentive to extend their stay at Apple.
According to Bloomberg, Meta has hired more than 100 engineers from Apple over the last few months.
Apple on its part has also ramped up hiring for its augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) projects and it includes talent from its key rivals.
Early this week, Apple reportedly hired Meta's AR communications director, Andrea Schubert.
The hiring of a communications person who specialises in AR and giving away unusually high bonuses to retain engineers indicate that Apple is close to launching its first AR/VR product sometime soon.
Apple is said to be working on two AR/VR projects that include a mixed reality headset and AR glasses. Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had earlier predicted that Apple will launch its mixed reality (MR) headsets sometime in 2022 or early 2023. The AR glasses are lined up for 2025.
Apple has bagged several patents on AR/VR over the years.