Wednesday 23 October 2019

Apple manager lost €300,000 after dismissal

Will Reeves: refused offer to move to firm’s California HQ
Will Reeves: refused offer to move to firm’s California HQ

Ralph Riegel

AN IRISH manager lost over €300,000 in pay, bonuses and share options in just two years when dismissed by US computer giant Apple after refusing a transfer to its California HQ.

Former Cork-based Apple project management officer Will Reeves even had a temporary six-month contract, prepared by Apple's Irish managers, vetoed by US executives which would have ensured he qualified for €60,000 in company shares.

Mr Reeves offered to take a substantial pay cut to be able to stay in Cork with his family but despite Irish managers saying he was "a perfect fit" for a new post, it was personally ruled out by Apple vice president Bill Frederick.

An Employment Appeals Tribunal heard that Apple's Cupertino-based human resources office also warned another US executive that Mr Reeves could not be forced to bring his children to California.

The Apple human resources team, in an e-mail to global planning director James Verner, stressed that family matters were entirely a private issue for Mr Reeves.

"You cannot dictate where Will locates his family . . . that is a personal decision," the HR team said.

Mr Verner said he merely wanted the manager to bring his family to California so he would be happier.

"I obviously wanted Will on the team and my concern was that if Will went to the US on his own he would be less happy and less likely to stay," he said.

Mr Verner admitted wanting Mr Reeves to be the position for the start of the school year.

He denied trying to force him to bring his family to the US.

The proposed US relocation package, which was worth €400,000, was rejected by Mr Reeves in September 2010.

Three months later, his employment was "eliminated".

Mr Reeves was dismissed despite his performance ratings making him as one of the firm's top worldwide managers.

He received an 'exceptional' performance rating in every year except 2010 when he was dismissed. He also failed to secure a bonus that year.

Mr Reeves was receiving a salary, with perks and bonuses, worth over €140,000 but was willing to take a pay cut to €90,000 to stay in Cork.

Apple (Ireland) human resources director Bernard Cronin admitted that Mr Reeves queried on December 20, 2010, whether Mr Verner was involved in his departure.

But Mr Cronin insisted that Apple were dealing with a redundancy situation in that Mr Reeves's old job had transferred to Cupertino.

The hearing was adjourned to September 26.

Irish Independent

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