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Tesla poached two of Apple’s top engineers in just one week

Published Jan 11th, 2017 12:06PM EST

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One of the more interesting challenges currently facing Apple centers on its ability to retain top talent. Apple may have billions of dollars in the bank and no shortage of hit products, but there’s no denying that many of the company’s best and brightest engineers, by their very nature, are always on the lookout for interesting and new opportunities.

That said, Tesla over the past few years has become an absolute haven for literally hundreds of engineers, designers, research scientists, marketers and publicists who previously put in time working for Apple. As a prime example, Tesla yesterday announced that it recently hired Chris Lattner to serve as the company’s VP of Autopilot development. Lattner may not have the name-recognition that, say, Scott Forstall had, but as the man in charge of Apple’s Swift and Xcode teams, Lattner was widely regarded as a software superstar within Apple.

Now comes word via 9to5Mac that Tesla has poached yet another top Apple engineer. According to the report, Tesla recently hired Matt Casebolt, a mechanical engineer at Apple who previously helped develop the MacBook Air, the beloved and seemingly forgotten cylindrical Mac Pro, and the recently released MacBook Pro with the TouchBar.

At Tesla, Casebolt will serve as the company’s Senior Director of Engineering, Closures & Mechanisms.

It may seem like ancient history now, but Tesla and Apple for a while were engaged in a high-stakes back and forth poaching war, though that has seemingly died down amid rumors that Apple is re-thinking its plans in the auto space. At one point, it was even rumored that Apple was offering Tesla employees a 60% bump up in salary if they opted to jump ship.

Tesla, though, never seemed outwardly concerned with Apple’s poaching efforts. You might recall that Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2015 jokingly said that Tesla folks view Apple as a Tesla Graveyard.

“If you don’t make it at Tesla,” Musk said at the time, “you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.