Good Times, Bad Times for Silicon Valley Employees



It appears to be some of the most interesting times to be employed, seeking employment or trying to stay employed in the world of the Internet space. Facebook continues to grab up top employees from the likes of Google while Google is offering ridiculous sums to the right employees to stay ( as well as rewarding ALL employees except those who can’t keep a secret). All the while, you have Yahoo trying to talk its staff off the ledge as layoff rumors swirl.

It’s a crazy world. First Google who has reportedly paid a top engineer $3.5 million in stock to stick around which is the same as saying “Don’t go to Facebook”. Michael Arrington reports from TechCrunch

We’ve confirmed today that a staff engineer at Google being heavily romanced by Facebook was offered a jaw dropping $3.5 million in restricted stock by Google (this means Google is handing over stock worth $3.5 million based on its value today, and that stock will vest over time). He quite wisely accepted Google’s counter offer. Facebook lost this one.

Arrington continues by saying that the impact on the rest of the Google faithful could be negative but maybe they are at least less unhappy considering this week’s 10% across the board raise and $1,000 bonus (although there may be a lot of “I do the same work as that darn engineer and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” thinking in the Googleplex).

Next are the dueling reports from Arrington and BoomTown’s Kara Swisher regarding continued staff reductions at everyone’s favorite Internet whipping boy, Yahoo. It’s not whether they will happen that is being debated but whether it will be a 20% or 10% reduction and in what area exactly.

From TechCrunch in an update that followed the initial post

Yahoo says via a statement that we’re being “misleading and inaccurate.” “Yahoo! is always evaluating expenses to align with the company’s financial goals. However, a 20% reduction in Yahoo’s workforce across the board is misleading and inaccurate.” I’m sticking by this story based on our sources, and all have confirmed that managers are being asked to target 20%. Perhaps they’re finding wiggle room in the total percentage, or what employee groups are affected (U.S. v. international, etc.) Also, given how widespread this information is within Yahoo’s ranks, I don’t see the point of denying the plans.

From BoomTown’s Swisher

Yahoo is indeed preparing to lay off employees, in a reduction in force that will be done in December.

But the layoffs, first reported in TechCrunch at 20 percent, will be closer to 10 percent and be almost completely centered on the product organization under Chief Product Officer Blake Irving, said sources close to the situation.

Either way, there are more than a few people that will be out of work come the holidays and it looks like the continued moves to be more efficient (read: more palatable to Wall Street) can be attributed to Carol being Carol!

All in all it is pretty interesting to watch all of this from the outside. In the end, the only thing that matters is what each company produces to help people communicate in the new world order of the social realm. Those on the industry inside will squawk about this, that and the other thing but the 500 million Facebook account holders and the millions (or billions) of people performing the billions of searches each month on Google just care if the stuff works. If we would spend as much time educating the masses about what we all claim to know just imagine how much further along this whole thing might be.

So congrats to you Googlers who received anywhere from $1,000 to $3.5 million to stick around. Can you figure out why Gmail is so freakin’ slow in between counting your money?

And the folks at Yahoo, if you would just decide what you want to be when you either grow up or are purchased or whatever then maybe you could help people keep their jobs. Oh that’s right, you know what you are doing. It’s obvious isn’t it?

And Facebook? While you are busy trying to take over the social world through getting the competition’s best and brightest, could you figure out how to actually ID my computer (the only one I use to log in ever) so I don’t have to put in the name of the machine each time I log in like you say you do if I check the box? Oh I forgot, you are busy straying from your core competency of social media and are concentrating on trying to control all of the data on the web.

Interesting times to be an employee in this neck of the woods, for sure.