Technology

What's Up With Apple: M1 Chip Architect Heads to Intel, Activist Investors, and More

A recent wave of top engineering talent leaving Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) for greener pastures has gotten so strong that the company has begun offering bonuses as large as $180,000 to keep that talent from walking away.

Apple either failed to offer its director of Mac architecture, Jeff Wilcox, that much, or Wilcox got a bigger sign-on bonus from Intel. Wilcox, who left Intel for Apple in 2013, announced on LinkedIn that he has started a new job as “Intel Fellow, Design Engineering Group CTO, Client SoC [system-on-a-chip] Architecture.” At Apple, Wilcox led the development of Apple’s own M1 chips and systems.

CEO Tim Cook, however, probably is not going anywhere. Cook reportedly received $98.7 million in compensation last year, according to Apple’s proxy statement filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Cook’s salary for the year was $3 million, and he received $82.35 million in restricted stock awards, $12 million in cash incentives and about $1.4 million in other compensation. The stock grants were his first since becoming chief executive in 2011.

In the same filing, Apple included six shareholder proposals that will be voted on by shareholders at the company’s virtual annual meeting on March 4. The company has recommended that shareholders vote against all six, among which are proposals for increased transparency related to removing apps from the App Store and banning employment contract clauses prohibiting employees from publicly disclosing alleged discriminatory behavior by Apple.

Financial Times writer Tom Braithwaite compares today’s “new breed of activists” who buy small stakes in a company and use those stakes to push for shareholder proposals like the one that Engine No.1 pushed through at Exxon Mobil. It is enough “to make Tim Cook yearn for dinner with Carl Icahn.”

Briefly noted:

Federal District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple charging the company with operating an illegal monopoly over iPhone app distribution. The lawsuit was filed late last year by Jay Freeman, who had created an alternate app store called Cydia.

What might an Apple Camera look like? There have been no rumors that Apple intends to make such a product, but designer Antonio De Rosa has attempted to apply Apple’s design language to a camera.

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