After home office trouble: Apple’s machine learning boss returns to Google

After home office trouble: Apple's machine learning boss returns to Google

Apple’s former director of machine learning is drawn back to his previous employer. Ian Goodfellow is returning to Google’s artificial intelligence department after inside information. The 35-year-old had left Apple because he did not agree with the mandatory return from home office to face-to-face work.

Goodfellow is employed in the DeepMind unit of Google parent Alphabet, Bloomberg reports. This AI research department improves Google services, among other things. The company itself has not yet confirmed the hiring.

Goodfellow, recognized as one of the leading machine learning researchers, previously worked for Google from March 2017 to March 2019. There he was poached by Apple. At Apple, he was responsible, among other things, for relocating AI functions locally to the devices in order to have to use cloud services as little as possible for data protection reasons.

Alphabet takes a more relaxed approach to home office than Apple. The group is now also encouraging its employees to return to the office, after most of them had switched to working from home during the corona pandemic in recent years. However, Alphabet appears to be making generous exceptions for those employees who would prefer to continue working from home.

At Apple, Goodfellow was part of the extended management team, which, according to Bloomberg, includes around 1,000 directors with a total of an estimated 170,000 employees. His resignation made headlines as it is the most prominent exit to date as a result of Apple’s return obligation. This obligation was introduced in April and should actually take effect in full on May 23rd. It stipulated that employees had to be in the office three days a week. Due to ongoing corona outbreaks, Apple has again refrained from implementing the new rule.

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