Earlier this month, Ian Goodfellow, the former head of Apple’s machine learning division, caused a stir when he decided to step down. The reason given was because Apple refused to allow employees to continue working remotely full-time. According to BloombergGoodfellow has now found a new “landing”, and that is DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet/Google.
DeepMind is a company specialized in the field of machine learning, acquired by Google in 2014. It is not clear what role Goodfellow will play at DeepMind, but before joining Apple, he was a Google engineer. . Goodfellow is known as one of the leading individuals in the field of machine learning, so this can be considered a significant loss for Apple.
Earlier, in an email to his subordinates at Apple, Goodfellow said he would leave the company because of his plan to return to direct work. “I believe a more flexible working mode would be best for my team.” he wrote.
In April, Apple began requiring employees to work at the office at least 1 day / week, then continued to increase it to 2 days / week in May. Apple set a goal for employees to work at the office 3 days/weeks starting on May 23, but this plan was postponed due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the US. Currently, Apple employees are required to work at Apple facilities and offices at least 2 days a week.
Not only Goodfellow, many other Apple employees also objected to returning to work in person, even when Apple allowed them to work from home 2 days a week. In contrast, other technology corporations in the US such as Meta and Google have implemented more flexible working plans. For example, Google does require employees to return to the office, but also accepts cases where employees want to work from home.