Posted October 10, 2007 10:07 pm by with 10 comments

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One of the engineers who worked on Google’s ecommerce efforts like Google Checkout is leaving Google for Facebook. People have referred to Benjamin Ling as one of “Larry and Sergey’s golden boys.” His last day is Friday.

Ling has a Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University. He created and ran Google Checkout, and Google SMS which lets you perform a Google search via text messages on your cell phone.

He’s not the only employee to go to Facebook. Gideon Yu, who was the Chief Financial Officer of YouTube, also went to Facebook where he’s now their CFO.

The higher Google stock goes, the more enticing it is for employees to cash out and leave. More of their top talent could be heading out the door.

In June, two other high-level Google engineers, Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, left Google to join the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital.

  • Jack

    top engineer? give me a break. anyway, media needs attention.

  • Hope next one will be Matt Cutts.

  • it seems that Facebook is getting bigger each day…

    interesting 🙂

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  • Why is this news? For big corporations, no body is indispensable. It happens all the time. What will be news is the severance package and the sweetener from the new employer!

  • The thing is, Google the “big corporation” started out by hiring the smartest minds they could find. That’s what Facebook is doing now. If you read the interview with Ling it’s clear that he sees that as what really makes the difference with web-based business. You can have all of the procedures in place that you want, but unless you hire smart people and give them the power and opportunity to develop their own unique ideas you won’t go anywhere. There are different kinds of “big corporations” – what works for McDonald’s certainly doesn’t work for Facebook. You need smart engineers across the board at Facebook. You don’t need an engineer to manage a McDonald’s.

  • tom

    Agreed, the real news would be if they covered the mass attrition out of Google instead of the attrition of a random employee (who isnt even an enginer) who just joined a couple years ago. But mikes point is true, who needs process or procedures, if you hire smart people, everything works itself out, and that is reflected in just how many sources of revenue google has acquired so rapidly by letting thousands of engineers just do whatever they want.

  • Correction on my comment above: the interview I was thinking of was actually with Justin Rosenstein, who left Google for Facebook in July of 2007. It’s interesting to get a Google insider’s opinion, and he talks about the focus on hiring “smart people” as superior to hiring to fill specific procedural roles in a web startup. For those interested, here’s the interview.

  • wow, it looks like Facebook is becoming the coolest place to work:)
    the engineer must be dissapointed that his baby could not beat paypal:) and went to facebook, may be there he can make a new baby that will beat ald paypal:)

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