Apple’s top AI exec, Ian Goodfellow, has reportedly left the company over its remote work policy.
Ian Goodfellow came to Apple by way of Google in March 2019. Goodfellow was appointed Director of Machine Learning in the Special Projects Group, a position he has served in since joining the company. According to The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer, Goodfellow has left his position because of Apple’s lack of flexibility with its remote work policy.
According to Schiffer, Goodfellow wrote a note to staff explaining his view:
“I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team.”
Apple has been struggling with employee dissatisfaction over its efforts to return to normal. The company is coming off of numerous record-breaking quarters, during which its employees were working remotely. This has led many employees to question why a return to the office is necessary, since the company is clearly firing on all cylinders. The company has even resorted to giving bonuses up to $180,000 in an effort to stem defections.
The most recent escalation involved employees sending a third letter to company executives, this time telling them to “get out of our way.”
“Here we are, the smart people that you hired, and we are telling you what to do: Please get out of our way, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, let us decide how we work best, and let us do the best work of our lives.”
If the reports are true, losing Goodfellow is a painful loss for Apple, and likely won’t be the last.