Google defections — trend?

April 2, 2008

Douglas Merrill Brain drain at Google?

The defection of Douglas Merrill, vice president of engineering at Google, is part of a growing trickle of senior managers to leave a company that topped Fortune magazine’s annual list of best companies to work for in 2007.

All the more surprising is that he’s leaving the college-like pastures of Googleplex for the growth-strapped music business at EMI to become head of EMI’s digital business. EMI announced earlier this year that it planned to cut some 2,000 jobs.

Google lost its vice president of global sales, Sheryl Sandberg, in March to Facebook. Then there’s George Reyes, Google CFO, who retired last year. Wired provides a longer list of defections and their new projects.

New York Times: “We have a deep bench and work hard to grow leaders within the company,” Google said in a statement. “We are attracting immensely talented people around the world, every day.”

Part of the exodus probably has to deal with the natural timeline of all hot IPOs, when stock options that vest in four- or five-year periods suddenly give executives more financial wiggle room, Wired says.

Regardless, this much is certain. It takes more than free lunch to keep top talent these days.


Keep an eye on:

  • Newsday auction gets a potential new suitor — New York Observer owner Jared Kushner. (WSJ)
  • Murdoch daughter Elisabeth Murdoch hosts fundraiser for U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton. (Guardian)
  • Video search engine Blinkx launches online tv service. (paidContent)

(Photo: Google)


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Google might be starting to loose some of it luster in other areas too. For example Yahoo could beat Google in the next generation of the Internet Mobile Search Services market. Despite the fact that the $44.6 billion takeover bid by Microsoft is hanging over the company like a dark cloud, Yahoo continues to forge ahead with a determined spirit as it embarks upon cutting-edge business ventures, including a new venture with the Massachusetts-based start-up company Vlingo Corp. This new venture could help Yahoo to challenge Google dominance of the Internet-based mobile services market. Yahoo plans to compete with Google in this burgeoning market by offering search services that use speech-recognition technology. More specifically, Yahoo will implement its new oneSearch 2.0 mobile search services in partnership with Vlingo Corp, already a leading speech-recognition company, Yahoo reported in a press release.

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interesting and thanks for the wired list.

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