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Data Exposes Employee Migration Between Tech Titans Apple, Google, and Amazon

Tech Talent Migration

As technology companies engage in an intense war for talent, a fascinating analysis by Switch on Business sheds new light on the career pathways of workers between some of the world’s most prominent tech firms. By mining employment history data from LinkedIn, the study reveals both common talent pipelines as well as surprising disparities.

To explore employment flows, the Switch on Business team compiled LinkedIn information on current employees at 14 major tech companies: Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, IBM, Tesla, Oracle, Netflix, Nvidia, Salesforce, Adobe, Intel, and Uber.

Researchers specifically searched for employees who presently occupy roles at one firm but previously worked for another firm on the list. This allowed them to quantify bidirectional transitions between each pair of companies.

Aggregating this data exposed the overall portion of talent recruited from other tech giants at each firm, along with rankings of the most frequent sources of incoming and outgoing employees.

Drilling Down on the Tech Talent Funneling Into Apple

Although Apple taps into other prominent tech companies for only 5.7% of its current workforce, clear patterns emerge in terms of feeder firms.

Intel tops the list, undoubtedly reflecting Apple’s 2019 $1 billion acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem chip organization as part of the push into proprietary radio chips. But several other tech leaders also serve as common reservoirs of talent flowing into Apple, including:

2. Microsoft  
3. Amazon
4. Google 
5. IBM

Interestingly, Apple disproportionately tends to gain employees from companies specializing more in software and internet services as opposed to hardcore hardware engineering. This may point to an effort to bolster Apple’s expanding service ecosystem.

Where Do Most Departing Apple Employees Head Next?

When examining the destinations of exiting Apple employees, Google stands in a decisive first-place position, attracting almost twice as many former Apple workers as the next company. The most common landing spots include:

1. Google
2. Amazon  
3. Meta
4. Microsoft

Notably, the highest-ranked firms are top Apple competitors in key consumer technology hardware and software markets. This likely reflects valuable expertise in areas like smartphones, mobile apps, streaming content, and more carried over between the two companies.

The analysis spotlights fascinating talent flows as tech giants raid one another’s organizations. It also reveals variability in hiring patterns, with some firms, like Apple, sourcing employees internally to a greater degree.


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