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October 11, 2007

Google Engineers jumping to Facebook

What’s so hot with the Facebook model that even top Google Engineers are jumping ship and moving on to this allegedly greener pastures? Is Facebook really the next giant in Silicon Valley?


Despite the bullish stock price for Google, the $625.39 a share didn’t prevent top engineer Benjamin Ling, Ph.D. from leaving the search giant for Facebook today. Ling created Google Checkout and Google SMS and is said to be one of “Larry and Sergey’s golden boys.”

Back in June, the 24-year old Justin Rosenstein left Google for Facebook too. He was the one who invented the Google Page Creator. Gideon Yu, who was the Chief Financial Officer of Google’s YouTube, also went to Facebook where he’s now their CFO.

But the list does not stop there.

Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, two of the masterminds behind Google Maps and several other Google products joined well-known venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.

Vanessa Fox, a Google veteran responsible for Webmaster Central also left for online real estate start-up Zillow.com. Bismarck Lepe, along with 2 other Google employees left to start their own interactive-video company called Ooyala Inc.

Yesterday, after the SEMCON, I heard that one of the people from from Yahoo who attended was pirated from Google Korea. Still, Google says their attrition rate has remained “pretty steady” in recent years at under 5%.

Well, there could be several reasons for leaving the Plex for greener pastures but I suspect it has also got to do with the healthy rise of Google’s stock prices. See, nobody thought it would reach $625 this soon but if employees cash in on their stock options now, they can go anywhere they want and still be millionaires. If there’s any good time to dump those stocks for bundles of green bucks, that time is now.

Facebook is a likely candidate since it has been rumored to go IPO very soon. Besides, the $10-$15 Billion valuation for the start-up is too enticing to pass up. Yeah, it’s a huge gable for ‘em Googlers, but they’ve already got their fair share of the pie to last them a lifetime or two.

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14 Responses to “Google Engineers jumping to Facebook”

  1. Miguel
    Twitter: mparazgmail.com
    says:

    Perhaps Google is getting boring. But that’s OK, that means Google should be more open to hiring Pinoy engineers!

  2. Kiven says:

    actually it was MJ from yahoO! who was pirated from google korea. =)

  3. BrianB says:

    Google has gotten too geeky. The cool people are in Facebook now.

  4. ernesto says:

    I heard a lot about facebook but until now I don’t have an account hahaha

  5. jay says:

    if it’s true that their attrition rate which is below 5%, then that shouldn’t be alarming. yet, still bad since those guys are labeled as “top engineers”.

  6. elmer says:

    imo FB is a cool development platform. right now mostly individual users are using it but not to its fullest capabilities.. wait until it gets into the enterprise (or even smb) where social + collaborations is pretty strategic and where the money is

  7. Chino Yray says:

    what I like about facebook is the “Blog Friends” feature. John Chow even abuses the feature. LOL

  8. Jon says:

    One factor people leave is boredom.

  9. Cesar Noel says:

    Facebook is leading the pack over other social network sites because of the various APIs and Widget that can be integrated on your profile, a technology which other social networks haven’t used yet.

  10. Ian says:

    Good news for Pinoy engineers, then. (Google: hint, hint!) :D

  11. Ewing says:

    great post, thanks for providing so much. Keep up the good posts.! http://www.hoover-f5914900.com

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