Meta loses top AI figures as Silicon Valley’s war for talent continues

Mark Zuckerberg is trying to recruit Google’s DeepMind researchers.
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  • Meta lost three senior AI employees within a week of announcing their departures at X.
  • The departure comes as big tech firms battle for top AI talent with chunky pay packages.
  • Elon Musk this week called Silicon Valley’s talent war the “craziest” he’s ever seen.

Meta has lost three top artificial intelligence hires in a week amid the ongoing war for talent in Silicon Valley.

Devi Parikhwho was Meta’s senior director of generative AI, said in an X post last week that she would be leaving the company after more than seven years.

Eric Majorthe Instagram owner’s senior director of engineering who led its machine learning research team Probability, also announced his departure.

He said at X: “Given the incredible competitive pressure in the field, there’s really no point in staying inside a big corporation if you want to build cool stuff on top of LLMs.”

Major added that he planned to “mess around doing independent research and see where it goes.”

Abhishek Dasa research scientist who worked on Meta’s Team for Basic AI Research, or FAIR, also left on X, saying he was “excited to build something new.”

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking matters into his own hands to fill this void. The Information reported that he was trying to persuade Google’s DeepMind researchers to join the company with personal emails.

Meta was even offering jobs to researchers without first interviewing them during the battle for skilled AI workers with big salaries, bonuses and equity, the report said.

Zaheer Musa, cofounder of salary data site, told The Wall Street Journal that the average compensation package for a machine learning and AI engineer at Meta was around $400,000, citing data from 344 people.

Elon Musk took aim at OpenAI this week, saying the ChatGPT maker is “aggressively recruiting” Tesla engineers with big pay offers. As a result, he said, he is increasing the salaries of Tesla’s AI-engineering team.

“The talent war for AI is the craziest talent war I’ve ever seen!” Musk wrote on X.

Meta’s departure follows other AI employee exits in recent years. At least a third of Meta researchers have left published AI work because of burnout or a lack of confidence in the company, the Journal reported last June.

Previously, co-founder of Meta’s AI Lab, Rob Fergusjumped ship in 2020 to join Google’s DeepMind.

Meta did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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