Apple’s top artificial intelligence executive is leaving the company because of its office return policy, according to the report.
The news comes at a time when Apple is ordering all corporate employees to return to the office three days a week – a stricter policy than Big Tech competitors such as Meta, Google and Amazon, which allow at least some employees to work remotely forever.
Machine Learning Director Ian Goodfellow announced his resignation last week, telling colleagues that forcing CEO Tim Cook to bring employees back to the office drove him out.
“I firmly believe that more flexibility would be the best policy for my team,” Goodfellow wrote in a welcome message. according to Verge journalist Zoe Schiffer.
Several Apple employees have confirmed Goodfellow’s departure on the corporate gossip site Blind.
An Apple employee quoted Goodfellow as saying, “I’m leaving for many reasons … but the policy of returning Apple to the office is the biggest single reason.”
Apple requires employees to work in person on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Employees are also allowed to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.
One Apple employee speculated that Goodfellow’s departure comes before a potential announcement that the company will increase personal working conditions to five days a week.
“Everyone and their grandmother know that Apple is using the pilot as a springboard for 5 days back in the office,” wrote an Apple employee at Blind, who confirms employment via corporate email addresses. “Ian probably realized this was coming and left.”
Apple and Goodfellow did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Post reported earlier in April that Cook’s attempt to return to the office drove some corporate employees out, and one employee said, “I don’t care if I ever go back to work here.”
After Goodfellow left, Apple employees again raged against their employer, and one accused the iPhone maker of “gaslighting”.
“On [Apple] it’s virtually impossible to switch to a remote, ”one Apple employee told Blind. “All other companies … including [Google] allow people to [work] remote and publishing remote positions. It’s the worst [Apple] it doesn’t give a reasonable reason – it just turns you off. ”