by Steve Vrionis · February 5, 2015 04:51 PM PST
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making a push to recruit talent from Tesla Motors Inc(NASDAQ:TSLA). According to comments by Elon Musk to Bloomberg, Apple is offering bonuses of as much as $250,000 and raises of 60 percent in salary to those willing to come work for Apple in Cupertino. In recent years more than 150 Apple workers have moved to Tesla, but reportedly only a few Tesla employees have taken the offer.
“From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned,” says Elon Musk
A Silicon Valley reporter who wished not to be named told Bloomberg that Tesla attracts the same kind of employees that Apple does—driven, hard-charging, and drawn to a strong leader.
In recent years, cars have become more like computers with more and more software and many traditional automakers have struggled to attract Silicon Valley talent. Silicon Valley has a totally different mindset then Detroit, which is seen as old and stale to many engineers. Tesla is seen more like an exciting new technology iPhone than an old technology car. Nonetheless, automakers have rushed to set up offices in the Bay Area to tap engineering talent. Most of them have not had nearly as much success recruiting as Elon Musk who’s powerful persona and technological background as the co-founder of PayPal attracts top engineering minds.
A former Apple Designer, Brennan Boblett, developed the Tesla Model S car control screen with a team of former Apple alumni. Joe Nuxoll, a freelance design consultant who’s worked at both companies commented, “You try to design it so that it requires not a whole lot of thinking,” Nuxoll says. “It’s more like an iPhone than a Ford.”
While Musk has been successful at poaching Apple employees, Apple has not been so lucky with Tesla Employees. “Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla,” Musk says. “But so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”
The news come on heels that Apple has been experimenting with mysterious vans. In addition to San Francisco and New York. AppleInsider readers have reported sightings in Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Panama City, Panama. Although the vehicles are likely mapping vehicles some have said they are testing autonomous cars which leaves you wondering what Apple could be up to.