What would you do if you were working for a company like Apple, getting paid above $1 million a year and asked to come back to the office for work? If you decide to resign, you will have a good company in Ian Goodfellow, a senior Apple engineer who is quitting his high-profile and well-paid job at Apple. While it is not known exactly how much Goodfellow is earning at Apple, his previous salary indicates that it would easily be above $1 million. And that is a conservative estimate. In other words, by quitting his job at Apple, Goodfellow is saying bye bye to at least a salary package of Rs 6 crore to Rs 8 crore per annum.

Just to reiterate why we are talking about Ian Goodfellow, here is the story so far. Goodfellow, who is the director of machine learning at Apple, is resigning because Apple wants him and his team to come back to work from the office.

Apple has told its employees and after letting employees work from home due to the Covid pandemic, it is now moving to a hybrid system that would require employees to work from the office for at least three days a week starting May 23. Goodfellow is not happy about it because he believes that a flexible working system — read work from home — is better. So, he is leaving the company and in an email to his team, he has made it clear why he is taking this step.

Now ever since the reports of Goodfellow leaving Apple due to the hybrid work model have surfaced, talk around his salary is buzzing.

While it is not clear how much Apple is paying Goodfellow, it is fairly certain that his salary is extremely high. People like Goodfellow, who is an expert in AI and machine learning, is in high demand. And he has previously worked at places like Google and OpenAI, which pay top dollars for top talents.

It is with the help of Open AI that we know some bits about Goodfellow’s salary.

As per New York Times report, Goodfellow took home at least $800000 per annum when he worked with Tesla’s machine learning company, Open AI, as a research scientist for approximately a year. This was in 2016. In fact, Open AI paid him $800000 in that year even though he joined the company only in March, so it is possible that his annual package was higher. Converted to Indian rupees, this comes to around Rs 6 crore.

But as noted, this was in 2016. From Open AI, Goodfellow went (back) to Google. And then in 2019 he left Google to join Apple. So, since 2016 he has made two jumps and given how much in demand top AI engineers are, it is safe to assume that he must not be earning less than $1 million at Apple.

However, even if we assume that his salary hasn’t moved since 2016, one can say that Goodfellow is leaving at least a Rs 6 crore per annum job by leaving Apple.

The Verge reports that Goodfellow in his email to his employees said that he would have liked “more flexibility for his team”. In a note to his team, he reportedly said “I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team.”

Apple’s new work policy required employees to work from the office at least one day per week by April 11, at least two days per week by May 2, and at least three days per week by May 23. Apple has asked its employees to return to the office at least three days a week starting May 23. However, some employees are not happy with Apple’s new move.


India today