Apple loses director of machine learning over its office return policy

Last week, a group of Apple employees wrote an open letter criticizing the company’s hybrid work-from-home policy, which requires employees to be at the office three days a week starting May 23rd. Now, Apple has lost director of machine learning Ian Goodfellow over the policy, according to a tweet from The Verge‘s Zoë Schiffer. Goodfellow may have been the company’s most cited machine learning expert, according to Schiffer. “I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” he wrote in a note to staff.

A group of Apple employees called it “Apple Together” against an RTO (return-to-office) strategy that cited multiple arguments. They noted that in-person collaboration is often necessary, thanks to apps like Slack. They also counted Apple’s argument that in-person work offers “serendipity” when people bump into each other, making Apple’s siloed office structure that difficult.

It also noted that a daily commute “is a huge waste of time as well as both mental and physical resources,” and that the policy will lead to a “younger, whiter, more male-dominated, more neuro-normative, more able-bodied.” bodied “workforce.

Mainly though, the group cited Apple’s hypocrisy in the way it markets its products. “We tell all our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we ourselves, can’t use them to work remotely. How can we expect our customers to take that seriously?” in our products if we don’t live it? ” the letter states.

Apple, which brought in a Q3 record of $ 97.3 billion last quarter, has been the face of employee discontent. On top of issues like RTO, it’s facing an NLRB deal over hostile working conditions, and Apple Store employees are quietly trying to unionize.

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