Tesla vs Apple as Cutting-Edge Tech Company

Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin/AFP
Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin/AFP

Until recently, Apple, like the queen in Snow White, may have been the fairest visionary company of all, but there’s a Snow White company challenging Apple as the cutting edge of business: Tesla.

Tesla’s efforts to surpass Apple as the company of the future have borne fruit; more than 150 Apple employees have left Apple to join Tesla, according to Bloomberg, which adds that this is “more than from any other company, even carmakers.”

Some high-priced Apple execs who bolted for Tesla include Doug Field, vice president of vehicle programs at Tesla; George Blankenship, vice president of sales at Tesla until he retired in 2013; Rich Heley, senior director for manufacturing technology and now vice president for product excellence; Lynn Miller, associate general counsel; Beth Loeb Davies, director of training programs since May 2011; and Nick Kalayjian, a director of power electronics.

Tesla has 6,000 employees; its CEO, Elon Musk, has made it no secret that he has modeled his success after Apple’s, telling Bloomberg, “From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned.” Bloomberg reported, “A former Tesla worker who didn’t want to be named says that Musk is enamored with Apple and relishes comparisons between himself and its co-founder.”

Musk pointed out that despite Apple having offered $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent salary increases to lure Tesla employees to Apple, “so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”

Tesla’s success flies in the face of repeated rumors of a buyout by Apple, floated in November 2014, as well as 2013.