Google offers $3.5 million to engineer not to join Facebook

While Google may be giving all of its employees a 10 percent raise to keep them on board, it’s offering a whopping $3.5 million to one of its engineers to discourage them from jumping ship to Facebook.

In early October we reported that Facebook was stealing Google’s staff, with a significant 12.5 percent of all Facebook employees having previously worked with Google. 

Of course, Facebook has a much smaller work force than Google does, so 12.5 percent of its 1,600 employees, which amounts to around 200, is a small percentage of Google’s 25,000 staff. In fact, it’s less than one percent.

With Facebook growing, however, Google is not resting on its laurels and is prepared to offer substantial pay increases, bonuses, and even cold hard cash to keep its staff from leaving.

An offer of $3.5 million is not common even for a company well known for offering regular raises to its staff, so clearly the engineer in question is extremely valuable to the company.

Details are slim on exactly who this employee is, what kind of salary or bonuses they received before, and why they’re considering moving to Facebook. What is known is that they have already been approached with an enticing offer from Facebook, so clearly Google has little option but to up the ante.

This may not keep all of Google’s staff on board as a number of people believe that Facebook’s much-rumoured initial public offering (IPO) is a big money maker, likely to see many of Facebook’s employees invest in shares of the company, which is seeing fast revenue growth.

“While we don’t typically comment on internal matters, we do believe that competitive compensation plans are important to the future of the company,” a Google spokesperson said about the recent wage increases.