Daring Fireball’s John Gruber claims that Apple allows its employees who leave the company, to come back after two years and also keep their seniority, notes Business Insider. He says that the company lets its employees quit, and if they decide to come back in two years, “it’s like nothing ever happened”.
The source further details this interesting policy that even though the employees don’t get credit for two more years of work, they get to keep their rank at Apple. However, the employee has to have been at Apple for 10 years, says Gruber. In contrast, a company like Bloomberg would tell its employees to shun anyone that leaves the company. Seth Mnookin says, “if employees (at Bloomberg) left to work for a competitor, they’ve become bad people. Period.”
Apple is a secretive, insular place so one might suspect its policy would be closer to that of Bloomberg. Instead, it’s “enlightened” in the words of Gruber. It gives people a chance to try something else and not burn out on Apple.
Gruber says Apple doesn’t have sabbaticals, so this two-year leave policy is a quasi-substitute.
When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, he banned sabbaticals. A lot of people were taking their two year sabbaticals and then quitting. So, Apple just says, quit up front. And if you change your mind, then come back.
Gruber calls it a smart strategy since one of the biggest threats for Apple is a brain drain, and if it’s easy for Apple’s employees to return, “it’s less of a threat”.