In just one month, Google has lost two top executives to the wildly popular social networking site Facebook. First it was Sheryl Sandberg, a Google VP of Global Online Sales, who left to become the company’s new COO, and now Ethan Beard has left the Mountain View monstrosity to become their director of business development. Beard was the former director of social media at Google.
Facebook is currently valued at $15 billions, and has grown in size to include more than 500 employees. It is also the fastest growing, and second most popular social network, with a pretty bright future. Although neither company would give any exact figures, a sizable number of of employees have gone from Google to Facebook. Other high profile ex-Googlers at Facebook also include Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu, and Benjamin Ling, a top engineer who was once fondly referred to as one of Google’s “golden boys.”
So why are so many Googlers packing up and moving it at Facebook? Has Google lost its luster, or has it just gotten too big to maintain the quirky corporate culture it has been known for?
Apparently, the exodus to Facebook began last year when a former Googler, Justin Rosenstein, wrote a public email. In this email he said that the social network was “the Google of yesterday, the Microsoft of long ago. That company where large numbers of stunningly brilliant people congregate and feed off each other’s genius.” It other words, its the currently hip and highly creative environment of the moment. Finishing up that email, Rosenstein urged his former colleagues to join him at Facebook, and so they did.