Google Offers Staff Engineer $3.5 Million To Turn Down Facebook Offer

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In September I wrote about Google’s “extraordinary” efforts to stop employees, particularly engineers, from resigning to join pre-IPO startups like LinkedIn, Twitter and especially Facebook. In one case we confirmed an engineer making around $150,000 turned down a 15% raise plus $500,000 in restricted stock and left for Facebook anyway.

That’s all chump change now. We’ve confirmed today that a staff engineer at Google being heavily romanced by Facebook was offered a jaw dropping $3.5 million in restricted stock by Google (this means Google is handing over stock worth $3.5 million based on its value today, and that stock will vest over time). He quite wisely accepted Google’s counter offer. Facebook lost this one.

From our previous post in September:

Sources close to Google told us that about 80% of people stay when they’re offered a counter to a Facebook offer. But some still leave. Part of that may be that Facebook is quietly telling people, never in writing, that there’s no reason their stock won’t hit $100 billion in total valuation over the next couple of years. No guarantees, yadda yadda, but hey if you get 1/10 of 1%, that’s $100 million in stock. Now it’s a party.

Google isn’t making these kind of counter offers to everyone, but it’s not a one off, either. It seems to me that every Google engineer at least should be taking a personal day to go collect a Facebook offer. Even if it’s just to get a counter offer from their current employer.

However effective these counter offers are, they sure aren’t good for morale internally at Google. Unless, of course, you’re one of the ones winning the lottery.

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