For Tesla’s HR department, Apple is looking ripe with possibility.
While rumors about a potential merger between the electric car maker and consumer electronics giant have swirled for years, a new Bloomberg report suggests that Tesla has recruited at least 150 employees from Apple – more than any other company, including competing car firms.
The hires have been in departments as varied as engineering, legal, design, retail and training. And Tesla isn’t alone in looking to lure tech luminaries into the auto sphere. As cars are becoming increasingly like computers, automakers are shifting their focus from Detroit to Silicon Valley in an attempt to tap top engineers, Bloomberg reports.
Traditional auto companies are having less luck than Tesla, however, which already counts many spiritual similarities with Apple. “From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned,” Tesla’s co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk, told the outlet.
Staffers at both companies are also likely attracted to a similar leadership style, according to the report. Musk and Steve Jobs are both known for possessing a short fuse and perfectionistic streak.
Apple’s presence at Tesla, which counts a total of roughly 6,000 employees, is already being felt. The company’s $70,000 Model S touts a 17-inch touchscreen that controls most of the car’s functions and was designed by a team of Apple alumni.
And according to Musk, the poaching is happening in both directions. Apple, for instance, is offering $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent salary increases in an attempt to lure Tesla staffers, he says. “Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla, but so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”