Apple’s Global Web

Issue 10-09-17   |   Reviewer:   Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.


Apple’s location of research facilities in the neighborhoods of other technology companies seems to reflect a strategy to hire talent. Apple appears to target employees of companies with competencies it seeks to develop internally.

Poaching talent is a common practice of technology companies, where innovation turns on the talents and abilities of employees. While poaching suggests that technology companies need to focus on retention, movement of talent across technology companies might also promote greater innovation in the industry, as ideas and talents end up being shared. Apple, however, seems to have lured employees away from both competitors and suppliers. In at least one case, Apple hired employees from a supplier, used them to develop the capability in-house, and then terminated its relationship with the supplier. It is interesting to consider under which conditions undermining a supplier might erode trust with other suppliers and lead to reputational costs.

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