Why Work? That's The Question for Google's Millionaires
By Martin Kelly, Search Engine Room
JUST read an interesting story on the Google millionaires in Forbes Asia, the magazine for rich people, forecasting a mass exodus from the company’s California headquarters. The reason is quite simple – money, lots of it.
Forbes estimates there are now more than 700 Googlers worth at least US$5 million. Lots of those would be worth plenty more thanks to a couple of exceedingly generous options schemes that lucky employees can now vest.
The first in 2002, when Google had just 350 staff, granted employees share options at an exercise price of just 30 cents. The following year’s options had a trigger rate of US$4.
Google shares now sell for more than US$500 – do the math.
So why work? Craig Silverstein, Director of Technology and the first hire by founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, now holds more than $US100 million in Google stock and admits “economically, you are volunteering to be here”.
But he likes the mental stimulation and stays. Others don’t – and who could blame them; they take the money and run, often to an upmarket garage somewhere in Silicon Valley to launch their own startup.
Spawn of former Googlers include social networking site Twitter, and WeatherBill, a site that allows people to hedge risk against downpours, a service that would have come in very handy in NSW recently.
According to Forbes, there at least another six startups on the cards, while many ex-Google staff are becoming venture capitalists.
“If we seed the next 200 great startups, that’s no bad thing,” said Laszlo Block, VP of people operations at Google.
He says Google has identified key people it wants to keep, particularly in its core Internet search business.
While it’s early days yet and the full impact of wealth creation has yet to be felt by a company which now has 13,500 staff, one thing is for sure, new staff will not have it as good as the veterans
Who knows where the Google share price – or the world economy – will be then.
Search Engine Room,
Australia's first Group Buying Summit was staged in Sydney on May 7, 2012. It was a good day with 135 delegates and lots great presentations. Speakers included:
Search Engine Room, Australia's original search event, is returning to Sydney in mid November, 2012.
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Meanwhile, check out images from the last Search Engine Room below.