Let’s get this out of the way: Apple won’t be making its own car anytime soon, nor will Tesla be making its own smartphone. However, that doesn’t mean Apple and Tesla aren’t already fierce rivals when it comes to recruiting one another’s employees.
Bloomberg reports that Tesla has gone on an Apple employee hiring binge and has now hired “at least” 150 former Apple employees, which is more than it’s hired away from any other company. Yes, you read that correctly: Tesla has poached more employees from Apple than it has from even rival car manufacturers.
Basically, cars are coming to rely much more on software in the past, which is why car companies have been actively recruiting talent from Silicon Valley. But given Tesla’s reputation as a groundbreaking innovator in the realm of electric cars, it has an edge over the major Detroit firms when it comes to bringing top software engineers on board.
“It’s almost an unfair advantage,” Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley auto industry analyst tells Bloomberg. “As software goes from 10 percent of the value of the car to 60 over 10 years, that disadvantage [for traditional carmakers] will intensify.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Apple employees already have experience working in an incredibly demanding atmosphere, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gotten a reputation for having a Steve Jobs-like “reality distortion field” of his own.