A senior executive at Apple has resigned in protest of the company demanding that staff return to the office three days a week.
Ian Goodfellow, director of machine learning, is believed to be the top employee to have resigned so far as a result of the plan.
The company began spending one day a week in the office on April 11 – a condition that rose to two days on May 2. By May 23, all staff had to be at their desks three days a week.
A poll among Apple employees from April 13 to 19 found 67 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the return policy to the office, Fortune reported.
And Goodfellow said in his resignation that he would not do so.
‘I firmly believe that more flexibility would be the best policy for my team,’ he said The Verge.
Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s director of machine learning, has resigned in protest of their policies, forcing people to return to their offices three days a week.
Pictured is Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California
One Apple employee speculated that Goodfellow’s departure comes before a potential announcement that the company will increase personal work requirements to five days a week.
‘Everyone and their grandmother knows 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.’
The technology news site described Goodfellow as the most cited expert in machine learning – a type of artificial intelligence that involves studying computer algorithms that can be automatically improved by both experience and data use. As a result, applications become better at predicting outcomes.
Goodfellow joined Apple in March 2019, and describes himself on LinkedIn as an ‘industry leader in machine learning’.
The technology analyst is called the ‘father of general rival networks, or GANs’, according to the 9to5Mac website – a pioneering technology that can be used to generate fake media content.
His salary is unclear, but he is likely to earn more than $ 270,000 a year according to Insider and Glassdoor.com, given his directorial status and high profile in the world of technology.
After graduating with a degree in computer science from Stanford in 2009, Goodfellow earned a doctorate in machine learning from the University of Montreal.
He worked at Google on their ‘Google Brain’ team and then joined OpenAI, a research institute founded in 2015 by Elon Musk and several others.
Goodfellow returned to Google and then joined Apple.
He was 34 at the time he joined Apple, and The Verge described him as ‘young to be an artificial intelligence researcher with so much influence’.
His employment was described as a blow to Apple.
He will probably be in high demand after his resignation from the Cupertino-based company.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, was seen at the company’s Cupertino headquarters
Apple CEO Tim Cook was adamant about returning to the office of his employees – unlike other Silicon Valley companies.
In early March, he wrote to staff saying they must prepare to return.
“In the coming weeks and months, we have the opportunity to combine the best of what we have learned about working remotely with the irreplaceable benefits of personal collaboration,” Cook said in a letter, according to Bloomberg.
‘It is important, as always, to support each other through this transition, through the challenges we face as a team and around the world.’
Cook admitted that not everyone was excited about the possibility.
“For many of you, I know that returning to the office is a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can work more fully with colleagues who play such an important role in our lives,” Cook said.
‘For others, it could also be a disturbing change.’
Following the announcement, employees at internal forums promised to resign.
‘I don’t care if I ever get back to work here,’ said one Apple employee on the Blind corporate bulletin board, according to The New York Post.
‘I’ll come in to say hello and meet everyone because I haven’t since I started, and then I’ll resign when I get home.
‘I already know I won’t be able to handle the trip to work and sitting around 8 o’clock.’
Another Apple employee responded with an emoji of laughter and wrote, ‘I’ll do the same.’
The third replied, ‘Damn it, YES, my man, let’s do this! F *** RTO. ‘
Twitter, on the other hand, has decided to allow employees to work remotely forever if they want to – although that could change under Musk’s new ownership.
In March, Parag Agrawal, chief executive, told staff that his predecessor Jack Dorsey’s policy would remain, allowing employees to work remotely forever.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal (left) and co-founder Jack Dorsey (right) support telecommuting
Elon Musk, who agreed to buy Twitter, ridiculed the company’s policy of allowing employees to work remotely forever, and some believe it could undo that when it takes over
‘As we reopen, our approach remains the same,’ Agrawal said.
‘Wherever you feel most productive and creative, you will work there, and that includes working from home full time forever.
‘Office every day? It also works. Some days in the office, some from home? Of course.’
Slack followed suit, allowing constant remote work.
In the summer of 2020, the parent company Meta announced on Facebook that all full-time employees can apply for work from home if their job allows it.
Facebook leaders have made the most of the deal, The Wall Street Journal reported, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spends a significant amount of time away from Menlo Park headquarters and more time in Hawaii.
Alex Schultz, director of marketing, plans to move to the UK, according to a company spokesman, while Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity company, will move to Israel.
Naomi Gleit, Meta’s product manager and one of her longest-serving employees, has moved to New York, while Adam Mosseri, Instagram’s boss, works remotely from locations including Hawaii, Los Angeles and Cape Cod, the paper said.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is demanding that all employees return to the office three days a week
Apple and Google are outstanding, and Google also demanded in March that workers return to the office three days a week from April 4th.
The offer includes a warning that employees could cut wages if they go from the San Francisco Bay Area or New York to cheaper parts of the country.
An open letter signed by more than 1,050 former and current Apple employees called on company leaders to reconsider their plans.
“You have characterized the decision for the Hybrid Working Pilot as combining the ‘need for personal community’ and the values of flexible working,” the letter said.
‘But in reality, he does not recognize flexible work and is driven only by fear. Fear of the future of work, fear of workers ‘autonomy, fear of losing control.’
They write that teleworking allows them to work effortlessly with colleagues in Europe and Asia and argue that allowing teleworking encourages diversity in the workforce. They also complain about the trip to the office and the frustration of wasting time.
‘We tell all our customers that our products are great for remote work, but we can’t use them for remote work ourselves?’ I write.
‘How can we expect our customers to take this seriously? How can we understand what remote work problems need to be solved in our products if we don’t live it? ‘