Mark Gurman: Here’s what Tim Cook said about an Apple hiring freeze

From Apple Plans to Cut Back on Hiring Due to iPhone Sales Struggles, posted Wednesday by Bloomberg Technology ($):

Cook was asked if the company would impose a hiring freeze in response [to slowing iPhone sales]. He said he didn’t believe that was the solution. Instead, Cook said some divisions would reduce hiring, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

Cook said he is yet to fully determine which divisions would cut back on hiring, but said that key groups such as Apple’s artificial intelligence team would continue to add new employees at a strong pace. He also emphasized that a division’s importance to Apple’s future isn’t measured by hiring rates.

My take: Sounds prudent. I believe that this is only the second leak—after John Gruber’s 11 million batteries—to escape from the all-hands meeting whose existence was first leaked to Gurman.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:

    Labor needs are in a constant state of flux. While one department mat not get more personnel another does. Now if this “news” was about layoffs that would be a big negative. I don’t think we are going to that.

    During the bank meltdown of 2008 Cook addressed Apple employees statin (paraphrased) “we worked very hard to get you, we are not going to let any of you go”

    A single off quarter, or two or three, is not going to negatively affect Apple’s head count.

    January 17, 2019
    • John Konopka said:

      I think it was Steve Jobs who said that:

      “We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off. And we were going to keep funding. In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked. And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.”

      January 18, 2019
  2. Ralph McDarmont said:

    Many years ago I fawned over Gurman. He was young and seemed to have an inside track. And I craved AAPL info. Still do. But then Gurman flipped from being an Apple ally to becoming an Apple troll. He did so out of simple greed. Apple negativity pays well and generates a ton of clicks. He sold himself and I’m not fawning anymore.

    January 17, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:

    In some geographies, such as China, the retail operations won’t need to grow as much. That is not a cut back, just trimming the sails. Retail remains a key branding and customer loyalty tool.

    The fiscal impact will be small. Top AI Talent costs upwards of $500K, and that will continue.

    January 17, 2019
    • Gregg Thurman said:

      In some geographies, such as China, the retail operations won’t need to grow as much.

      Sure it (retail) will. If you have the cash you expand during slow periods (while the competition is hoarding cash) in anticipation of the recovery that always follows.

      Apple has the cash. The economy always recovers.

      January 17, 2019

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