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Apple Tells San Diego Employees to Relocate to Texas or Be Terminated

Apple has presented a decisive ultimatum to a portion of its San Diego workforce, notifying 121 employees engaged in Siri and artificial intelligence projects that their San Diego office will be shuttered, and the positions will be relocated to Austin, Texas.

Relocation Announcement

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On Wednesday, Apple informed its San Diego workforce of the impending move, as reported by reputable news.

The sources divulging this information remained anonymous as the official announcement had not yet been made.

While Apple confirmed the job relocations in an email, it refrained from providing specific details.

Consequences of the Move

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Employees who opt not to relocate or pursue another San Diego-based role within Apple will face termination.

The affected team has until the end of February to decide, with the termination date set for April 26.

Details Surrounding Closure

Credit: New York, USA – 15 February 2021: Bloomberg website in browser with company logo, Illustrative Editorial — Photo by postmodernstudio

Apple did not specify which San Diego office location would be closing.

According to Bloomberg, this relocation surprised the local AI team, as they were recently informed that they would be moving to another nearby Apple campus within the city by the end of January, and packing supplies were distributed.

Responsibilities of the AI Team

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The San Diego-based team was primarily responsible for analyzing questions directed at Siri, the iPhone voice assistant, and assessing its response performance.

Their work evaluated Siri’s functionality in Hebrew, English, various Spanish dialects, Portuguese, Arabic, and French.

Apple’s Statement on the Relocation

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An Apple spokesperson stated in an email to the San Diego Union-Tribune, “We’re bringing our Data Operations Annotations teams in the U.S. together at our campus in Austin, where most of the team is already based.”

Opportunity to continue role with Apple in Austin

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The email also stated, “Everyone currently employed will have the opportunity to continue their role with Apple in Austin.

We are deeply committed to San Diego, where we have grown significantly, and continue hiring as we expand our world-class engineering teams.”

Apple’s Growth Plans in San Diego

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Apple had previously announced its ambition to employ 5,000 individuals in the San Diego region by 2026.

The primary focus of the tech company’s expansion efforts revolves around hardware and software engineering positions.

480 Openings in San Diego

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Apple lists over 480 job openings in San Diego, with a substantial portion dedicated to engineering roles.

Some Employees Unwilling to Move

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According to Bloomberg’s source, some San Diego employees impacted by the relocation who are unwilling to leave the city believe they may not be eligible for many roles due to their non-engineering backgrounds.

Apple’s Recent Hiring and Expansion

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Over the past two years, Apple has recruited around 2,000 local employees, although the company did not disclose the current number of San Diego-based employees.

As of September, Apple employed more than 161,000 full-time workers globally.

Bought Additional Office Space

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Apple has secured additional office space to facilitate its robust workforce expansion in recent years, primarily in Rancho Bernardo and University City.

Engineering Presence Came to San Diego in 2018

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Although Apple has operated retail stores in San Diego for an extended period, its engineering presence was established locally in 2018 when plans for a 1,200-person wireless technology hub were unveiled.

Real Estate Holdings

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Apple possesses the former Hewlett-Packard inkjet research lab facility, spanning 838,308 square feet in Rancho Bernardo.

In 2022, it acquired the Rancho Vista Corporate Center, encompassing seven buildings, for $445 million.

Intel on The Same Campus

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Intel is a tenant in one of the buildings, occupying 44,696 square feet, according to real estate data from CoStar.

Major Renter of Office Space

Credit: SHYMKENT, KAZAKHSAN – JANUARY 23, 2023: Apple logo on a black background on the wall of an electronics store — Photo by alexkoral

Across eight leases in San Diego County, Apple rents more than 800,000 square feet of office space, with the company often serving as the largest tenant in these properties, according to CoStar’s information.

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Credits: DepositPhotos