Is Google Taking Steps to Prevent Top Talent from Defecting?




What do you do if you no longer need your Chief Technology Officer, but don’t want your rivals to get their grubby mitts on him either? Well, if you’re Google you quietly move him out of that role, give him some other projects to work on, and hope that no one notices.

Unfortunately, All Things Digital noticed:

[YouTube co-founder Steve] Chen left his spot as chief technology officer last fall, though he remains employed at Google, which bought his company for $1.65 billion in 2006. “Steve shifted his focus to help with some Google engineering projects. He’s still involved with YouTube and invested in its success,” says YouTube spokesman Ricardo Reyes via email.

Still involved with YouTube–except his role of CTO doesn’t actually exist anymore!

The online video space is a tough market these days. While some companies are thriving, others aren’t fairing so well. Reading between the lines, it seems as though Chen’s not as important to YouTube–now that a whole army of engineers are at its disposal–but he could play a vital role at one of its competitors.

We’re seeing execs playing a lot of musical chairs these days, so it would make sense that Google would want to try and keep their top talent from defecting to a rival.

What do you think?

  • http://www.thomas-hertkorn.de/ Thomas Hertkorn

    Interesting Post. Hopefully Google will change this a little bit or better we all have to become so smart as the google guys ;-)

    Thomas Hertkorn’s last blog post..Michael Jacksons Tod

  • Tom Lynch

    Maybe he asked for something new to work on? Top talent tends to get bored working on the same old thing… For clues – Maybe look at what he worked on before the tube or any charity he is actively involved in. If you have or don’t care about money you have a lot more choices…

  • http://osfgx.com scott adie

    Good for him, he’s in the driver’s seat now. Isn’t that why we strive to become the ‘vital’ to our employer’s success. Having achieved that, he’s created a demand for his skills that, if properly exploited, could lead him to a place where job satisfaction is higher still.

  • Steve R

    I can understand shuffling Officers around within a large organization like Google. We get bored or want to spear head special projects.
    However, Google eliminated the CTO position. Google is a high tech company, without a Chief Technology Officer.
    It doesn’t make much sense to me. But Google does seem to have lost their way recently, with abandoning projects and getting into non-search related projects.

    I think it opens things up for some new rivals.

  • http://www.talentandproduction.com Frank

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