Devices and Apps

Apple Recruits From Tesla Amid Senior Engineer Firing

Apple is making changes to its team of software developers and engineers. The iPhone maker is hiring Tesla’s Autopilot software engineer to work on its EVs. Sources close to the matter told Bloomberg that Apple scooped up Christopher “CJ” Moore to work on its self-driving software. He’ll report to Stuart Bowers, another Tesla ex-pat who previously served as the vice president of engineering, according to The Verge.

Apple fired its female senior engineer program manager in October for violating its confidentiality rules when she publicized the struggles that she and other coworkers faced.

On September 9, Apple fired Ashley M. Gjøvik for allegedly violating its company rules on leaking private intellectual property. Gjøvik claimed on Twitter that the big tech company allegedly ignored workplace sexism. She has been speaking openly about how Apple handles Title IX complaints against her and another female employee. Further, the senior engineer also spoke out against Apple’s privacy policies. Apple may access its employees’ personal devices and the information stored on their Apple ID at any time.

Gjøvik immediately took to Twitter to display Apple’s response to her public outcry to showcase how she was denied fair treatment. “At #Apple, in my experience (which won’t be everyone’s), when you are abused: no one helps who sees it, no one helps who hears about, no one tells you to report it, when you finally report it they try to ignore it. If you push, they retaliate. If you push more, you’re fired,” she wrote.

An Apple relations employee initially emailed for Gjøvik to participate in an urgent meeting regarding a “sensitive Intellectual Property matter.” The threat assessment and workplace violence team also sent her an email that said, “your cooperation and participation is imperative.”  Two minutes later, Gjøvik responded via email, stating cheerfully, “Hi! Happy to help!” and requested the meeting content be in written form and sent via email so she may forward the content to the National Labor Relations Board. An Apple employee later responded that because she chose not to attend the meeting, Apple placed her on indefinite leave. Later that same day, Apple fired Gjøvik.

On September 22, Apple created a new position that is seemingly in response to whistleblowing. The Export Compliance Program Manager description states that the person will be responsible for “investigating and researching companies and individuals for sanctions risks” before Apple hires potential candidates for other positions. In addition, the person in this position will also “uphold Apple’s high ethical and corporate standards, as well as defend our intellectual property by providing legal support for all our products and businesses globally.”

Gjøvik responded on Twitter when she learned about this position: “Wonder if that has anything to do with my tweets?” While her Tweet was attached to a previous Tweet, she posted outlining her failed attempt to contact Apple’s Human Resources when her coworker started bragging about how he helped smuggle Apple products to Syria.

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Ema Gavrilovic

Ema Gavrilovic is a graduate of DePaul University with M. Ed in clinical counseling degree. Ema's career accomplishments include freelance writing, social media and PR consulting. In her spare time Ema likes to explore outdoors, cooking and yoga.