Finally, at Tim Cook's Apple: Perks Things are getting a little rosier for employees By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Nov 13, 2012 8:11 AM CST 5 comments Comments Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) (Newser) – One big change at Apple under Tim Cook: The company is much more open to employee perks. Steve Jobs famously resisted perks common to other Silicon Valley companies, like free lunches, because he thought the chance to work at such an influential company was reason enough for employees to stay. But under Cook, Apple officials are paying more attention to employee retention, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Some examples: Employees are now allowed to spend a few weeks working on a pet engineering project, rather than always remaining strictly focused on official Apple projects with no leeway to explore new ideas. Cook is also more open to OKing employee sabbaticals. Cook has introduced new employee Apple-product discounts as well as charitable matching. The company's counteroffers to employees considering a departure are now more aggressive, according to executives at other companies that have attempted to woo Apple employees. Along the same lines, Apple is also making more of an effort to show how attractive its compensation packages are—for example, by listing stock grants by dollar amount, rather than by number of shares.