Apple poached 25 employees, including three senior staff, from Imagination Technologies in the two years before it pulled the plug on its deal.
The Silicon Valley giant has plundered a host of engineers and senior managers – one as recently as last month.
It has also lured Imagination’s chief operation officer, a head of hardware and a leading designer.
Apple poached 25 employees, including three senior staff, from Imagination Technologies in the two years before it pulled the plug on its deal
The recruitment drive from one of its leading suppliers came as Apple ramped up plans to designing its own graphics chips. Imagination’s chips have been a key component of the iPhone since it was launched ten years ago.
On Monday Apple announced it would no longer be using Imagination – sparking a wave of panic selling among its investors, wiping almost half a billion pounds off the value of the company.
Yesterday, however, shares climbed back up, as analysts tipped a potential acquisition interest, soaring 12.9 per cent or 13.25p to 116.25p.
Among the departures, confirmed from postings on business networking website LinkedIn, is former Imagination chief operating officer John Metcalfe, who is now a senior director at Apple.
Others joining Apple include senior designer Dave Roberts, and vice president of hardware engineering Jonathan Redshaw.
More than 25 have jumped ship to Apple over the last two and a half years.
At least six joined just in October 2016, and one – Tim Rochester, a graphics modelling engineer, only left last month.
Imagination has raised the prospect of launching legal proceedings after it disputed whether Apple could design its own chips without ripping off its designs.
In a statement Imagination said: ‘Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information.
‘This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it.
‘It would be extremely challenging to design a brand new graphics processor unit without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information. Imagination does not accept Apple’s assertions.’
Apple, which has an 8.2 per cent stake in Imagination, had confirmed it had held takeover talks with the company last year.
But no deal materialised, and now 1,200 jobs are at risk at Hertfordshire-based Imagination.
Apple is thought to have established a team in London to work on its own graphic processor units – meaning it no longer needs Imagination.
The departures to Apple did however come after Imagination had announced a series of job cuts as part of a restructuring.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.