May 27, 2022

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Top Apple exec Ian Goodfellow resigns over back-to-office policy

Top Apple exec Ian Goodfellow resigns over back-to-office policy

A report said a top AI executive at Apple is leaving the company due to a back-to-office policy.

The news comes as Apple is requiring all of the company’s employees to return to the office three days a week — a stricter policy than Big Tech competitors like Meta, Google and Amazon, which allow at least some employees to work remotely in perpetuity.

The director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, announced his resignation last week, telling colleagues that CEO Tim Cook’s push to bring employees back to the office has pushed him out.

“I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” Goodfellow wrote in a farewell note. according to For Verge Reporter Zoe Schaeffer.

Several Apple employees confirmed Goodfellow’s departure on the companies’ Blind website.

An Apple employee quoted Goodfellow as saying, “I’m leaving for many reasons…but Apple’s return-to-work policy is the single biggest reason.”

Ian Goodfellow left in protest of Apple’s return-to-work policy.

Apple requires employees to work themselves on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Employees are also allowed to work fully remotely for up to four weeks per year.

An Apple employee speculated that Goodfellow’s departure comes ahead of a possible announcement that the company will increase personal work requirements up to five days a week.

“Everyone and their grandmothers know that Apple uses the pilot as a stepping stone to 5 days in the office,” wrote an Apple employee on the Blind Program, which verifies employment through corporate email addresses. “It’s possible that Ian got in on the news that this is coming and he left.”

Apple and Goodfellow did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The Post reported back in April that Kwok’s return to the office was Pushing some company employees out of the housewith one employee yelling, “I don’t give a single thought about going back to work here.”

After Goodfellow’s departure, Apple employees again revolted against their employer, with one accusing the iPhone maker of “gas lighting”.

“at [Apple] “It is virtually impossible to transfer to the remote control,” an Apple employee told Blind. “All the other companies… including [Google] allow people [work] Remote and publish remote sites. The worst thing is that [Apple] Don’t give a reasonable reason – they just shine a light on you.”

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s response infuriated some employees.
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