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Google ups stakes in preventing brain drain to Facebook

by Sarah Griffiths on 12 November 2010, 14:43

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook

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Brain drain?

Google's battle to keep hold of its top employees and stop them from migrating to Facebook is pretty well known but it seems the search giant is ‘investing' big in retaining its engineers in particular, if rumours are to be believed.

According to Tech Crunch, one staff engineer at Google thought to be in demand from Facebook was apparently offered $3.5m in restricted stock by the firm to turn down the offer...which he did...obviously!

Only last month there were reports of another engineer on a salary of around $150k rejecting an offer from Google of a 15 percent rise and $500k of restricted stock. Clearly the money at Facebook and other relative start-ups like Twitter is pretty good and the search giant has now found the need to up its offers.

According to the website, an anonymous source said about 80 percent of employees choose to stay on at Google if they receive a counter offer to a Facebook deal, but obviously some still choose to jump ship, perhaps seduced by the prospect that if Facebook floated, its stock could reach $100bn, which would be very attractive if say, they were offered a 1% stake in the social network.

According to Fortune, Google has also taken a bold (or costly depending on how you look at it) move to boost staff morale with a 10% pay raise for its staff...with the exception of the now former employee who spilt the beans and reportedly got the sack for it.

The salary hike was apparently released in a memo this week and a Google spokesman told Fortune: "While we don't typically comment on internal matters, we do believe that competitive compensation plans are important to the future of the company."

The generous raise is a measure to stem the flow of Google's brains to its competitors and it has in recent weeks reportedly lost Google Maps creator Lars Rasmussen, YouTube's co-founder and CEO Chad Hurley and Omar Hamoui, who co-founded AdMob.

Rasmussen told The Sydney Herald he quit Google to join Facebook based on the size of the company, after complaining Google's size of almost 25,000 employees was a hindrance, while Facebook's 2,000 was attractive.

According to Fortune, around 15 percent of Facebook's staff listed on work networking site LinkedIn cite their past employer as Google, including Facebook's number 2, Sheryl Sandberg, who was reportedly chief of sales and operations at the search giant before her move. Only in June, Google's ex product manager, Bret Taylor reportedly became Facebook's CTO.

It will be interesting to note whether the two firms continue to raise the stakes while they battle over the ‘best' employees but they are already at loggerheads this week over Gmail and data sharing.



HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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HEXUS
According to Fortune, Google has also taken a bold (or costly depending on how you look at it) move to boost staff morale with a 10% pay raise for its staff…with the exception of the now former employee who spilt the beans and reportedly got the sack for it.

How can someone get the sack for telling people they have just got a pay rise? There are loads of situations where it would be normal and reasonable to tell people how much you get paid:

Bank manager: “Last month we told you that we cannot give you a mortgage on 12 Mornington Crescent, as we don't think you have sufficient income to meet the repayments. What has changed?”

Google Employee: “I have just received a 10% pay rise to £XX,000”
chrestomanci
How can someone get the sack for telling people they have just got a pay rise? There are loads of situations where it would be normal and reasonable to tell people how much you get paid:

Bank manager: “Last month we told you that we cannot give you a mortgage on 12 Mornington Crescent, as we don't think you have sufficient income to meet the repayments. What has changed?”

Google Employee: “I have just received a 10% pay rise to £XX,000”
Maybe because the circular was headed up with “internal only, not for public disclouse, for googlers only”? Or to words of that effect.