Last month, we were first to report that Google Engineering Director Mark Lucovsky was leaving the company to join VMware. Lucovsky was with the company for nearly 5 years and was very instrumental in its APIs. And now they’re losing another long-time employee who worked in a similar capacity — and yes, he’s also going to VMware.
Derek Collison has been with Google since 2004, most recently serving as a Technical Director working on its search APIs (specifically the AJAX ones) much like Lucovsky. Now he’s joining his once and future colleague at VMware, where he’ll apparently be working directly with him again.
Collison tweeted out the news of his departure today, and engaged some of his former co-workers on FriendFeed as to what his role will be with VMware. “Joining up with Vadim and Mark Lucovsky for a bit at VMWare to do some cloud computing stuff,” he wrote. “Vadim” is Vadim Spivak, who formerly worked at Google as a Gmail engineer before, yes, leaving to go to VMware.
Certainly, three people out of thousands is not a pattern, but it is interesting that all these of these guys left Google, where they had been for a long time, around the same time, to go work together at an already established company. Plenty of Googlers leave to go to startups, places like Twitter and FriendFeed, no doubt dreaming of riches and more control, but VMware IPOed in 2007.
Well, at least Google got its CEO back full-time again today.