Count Apple as one of the beneficiaries of the turmoil rocking electric car maker Tesla this year. The Silicon Valley technology giant has hired at least 46 employees from Tesla so far in 2018, CNBC said.
The hires include engineers that worked on mechanical design and autonomous driving, as well as global supply chain managers and eight engineering interns, CNBC reported, based on LinkedIn profiles.
In May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reorganized his company’s management structure to, as Musk put it in an internal memo at the time, “improve communication, combining functions where sensible, and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission.”
That same month, Doug Field, a senior vice president of engineering who oversaw production of the Model 3 vehicles, took a leave of absence from the company. Two weeks ago, Apple said that Field had returned to Apple, where he had worked before moving to Tesla in 2013, to join Apple’s electric-car project.
In 2015, Musk told a German newspaper, “We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.” More recently, the intensity of Tesla’s production challenges may be reversing that flow of talent between the two companies.
A Tesla spokesperson told CNBC: “We wish them well. Tesla is the hard path. We have 100 times less money than Apple, so of course they can afford to pay more.”
Apple has long been considered a potential suitor to buy Tesla, with speculation about a merger between the two companies gaining steam in recent weeks as Musk’s behavior has grown erratic while struggling to meet Tesla’s ambitious production goals.