Google Paid Top Talent So Much That They Quit

cageymaru

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When Google starts a new business venture, they tend to give huge bonuses for employees to stay and invent. These bonuses are based on the perceived value of the new venture. Needless to say, autonomous cars is a hot commodity today, and the Google employees working in the new Waymo division were well compensated. The bonuses were so ridiculous that employees coined the term "F-you money." They even received compensation as investments into the company and multipliers based on periodic evaluations. Some became millionaires on a product that still has years of R&D left before it can come to market!

This sounds like a great concept in theory, but in reality it has caused these employees to quit the company altogether. It seems that paying employees so well that they are financially independent means that they will leave and start their own companies, or work for someone else if a leadership change comes along. Also Google had to explain a 14% hike in operating costs because of the bonuses. Some employees even were able to start businesses with over $1 billion raised from venture capitalists. What a nice problem to have for the employees and a tangled web for Google.

A large multiplier was applied to the compensation packages in late 2015, resulting in multi-million dollar payments in some cases, according to the people familiar with the situation. One member of the team had a multiplier of 16 applied to bonuses and equity amassed over four years, one of the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about private matters.
 
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Cyraxx

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I would think if they are paying these guys this much that all the intellectual property is (obviously) sticking with Google.

At the same time, I would add in a clause to their sign-on and lucrative pay that they cannot go to a competitor or start a matching business for a few years.
 

WorldExclusive

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Once people make enough money form a workplace, they believe that they can do it better.
That's why the hiring processhas to be selective with non-compete agreements.

Sometimes the phrase "overqualified" really means "you have the potential to steal our ideas."
 
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Galvin

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Wait what, so people leave the golden goose? if you made 1million, then you stay cause most likely you'll double that.
 

Bowman15

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That much money on the line and the contract never included a set period of time before leaving and or a no compete clause?
 

toast0

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That much money on the line and the contract never included a set period of time before leaving and or a no compete clause?
Non-competes in California are very limited -- you can't prevent someone from leaving to go work at a competitor, only prevent them from working at a competitor while working for you. They probably have vesting on this, but since self-driving cars is a long process, some people are going to vest before it makes money.
 

Bowman15

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Non-competes in California are very limited -- you can't prevent someone from leaving to go work at a competitor, only prevent them from working at a competitor while working for you. They probably have vesting on this, but since self-driving cars is a long process, some people are going to vest before it makes money.
Is that a California thing with such limited non-competes?
 
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It's not the money that made them leave, its that the very people that get the biggest bonus and pay are the same ones with drive and ideas, which also makes them the highest risk of leaving. Others will want to poach them to come to work for them, and/or if driven enough get funding from venture capital to start their own company that could dwarf that income.

This is a great example of "Correlation does not imply causation".
 

TheHig

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Great stuff! Perhaps even people at the top are just working for a paycheck while thier passion lies elsewhere. If the piggy bank gets big enough. Eff it dude, let's go bowling.
 

gigatexal

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Labor Econ 101 and he labor-leisure curve. I'm surprised Google didn't see this coming.
 
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The problem is not what these people were paid, the problem was their interest in the projects they were working on.
 
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Kelter

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Anyone ever watch Silicon Valley on HBO? I think a lot of why it is funny is because a lot of it is true. And if you do watch, you probably already know Hooli is a direct play on Google. There are MANY Big Head's here in the bay area. The trick is getting to be one of them :)
 

Burticus

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Anyone ever watch Silicon Valley on HBO? I think a lot of why it is funny is because a lot of it is true. And if you do watch, you probably already know Hooli is a direct play on Google. There are MANY Big Head's here in the bay area. The trick is getting to be one of them :)
LOL I have a "relative" who works at a certain "company". I asked that person which company they thought Hooli was based on. Said person replied "Yahoo". I laughed internally but didn't say a word. Pot, meet Kettle.

If Google is too stupid too realize there is a fine line between paying people enough and WAY too much, then so be it. I know from first hand experience that throwing money at people without demanding realistic goals is just.... stupid.
 

toast0

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Is that a California thing with such limited non-competes?
Yes, it's California law that "Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void." As a public policy, California wants people to have the right to make a living and not be stuck with an employer. From my evening's reading, it might not even be legal to prevent someone from working for a competitor at the same time; exceptions are for business owners who sold their business.
 

tetris42

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It's not about killing anyone, it's about the grossly unnecessary concentration of wealth stagnating the entire economy.
Yeah, it's not that the 1% are specifically the problem so much as the power and resources we bestow upon them as a system. Society needs a balance patch. The 1% literally have as much as everyone else combined:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475
 

Bowman15

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Yes, it's California law that "Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void." As a public policy, California wants people to have the right to make a living and not be stuck with an employer. From my evening's reading, it might not even be legal to prevent someone from working for a competitor at the same time; exceptions are for business owners who sold their business.
It's pretty much legal everywhere else and has been proven in court with a signed and agreed to no compete contract. You can either sign or not sign, nobody is forced to. By looking at this specific scenario the money is outrageous enough that who else would pay that much?

That being said there may be time limitations on said contracts, i.e., 3-5 years etc., so they might expire in certain cases.
 

Nukester

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This whole "take from others" mentality is just damn scary. I will never understand a socialist. Take take take.
 

Youn

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so the idea of a healthy society is "damn scary"? hasn't socialism been a big reason for the nice things we have today, like roads, schools, security, entertainment? how does it work when the government isn't taking any money at all and we rely on charity alone?
 

Nukester

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so the idea of a healthy society is "damn scary"? hasn't socialism been a big reason for the nice things we have today, like roads, schools, security, entertainment? how does it work when the government isn't taking any money at all and we rely on charity alone?
I can't even have a conversationg with someone that has this mindset. It's so dependent on others. God forbid socialistic people ever run into a situation where they have to fend for themselves.

Thus the term, "Snowflake". Now I know why it is fitting.

Nothing wrong helping other people, but don't take my money to do it. Donate your paycheck (if you even work). I'll donate to causes and organizations that don't blow 80% of it on "administrative fees", like our Gov't.
 
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