After nearly 5 years with the company, Engineering Director Mark Lucovsky is leaving Google for a role with VMware we’ve learned.
Lucovsky has been an integral part of Google’s APIs, including the all-important Search APIs.
Mr. Lucovsky’s pedigree is quite significant. He spent 16 years with Microsoft and was given the title of Microsoft Distinguished Engineer. His accomplishments at Microsoft were so significant that when he went to tell Steve Ballmer that he was leaving Microsoft for Google ….. well, let’s just say Mr.Ballmer didn’t react well. I have altered the quote for a PG-13 rating but if you want the real deal go to TechCrunch. I suspect you will get the gist here.
“Just tell me it’s not Google,” Ballmer reportedly said according to court documents (for a case surrounding another Google ex-Microsoft hire). When Lucovsky said it was Google, Ballmer allegedly picked up a chair and threw it across the room.
What he apparently said next, will live on forever in Internet history.
“$#@%ing Eric Schmidt is a %@#^ing *&#%$. I’m going to %$@#ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going %$@#ing kill Google.”
Schmidt, is of course, Google’s CEO. When Lucovsky still wasn’t convinced, Ballmer alledgedly went on to say, “Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards.”
Looks like Mr. Ballmer missed the mark on that one for sure. Today, though, Google gets to experience some of the pain of losing this type of talent. It’s been said quite a bit in the past that there are inherent risks with creating the culture that Google has. When there are as many Phd / alpha dogs / egos running around in one company someone has to take orders from someone else and that could eventually wear on those that are used to being in control.
So should Google be worried about this kind of activity? It is going on despite their best efforts to keep people on the boat. What are your theories on why Google is becoming a springboard for other opportunities rather than the place where folks will drop anchor and stay a while?