Google: Compensation Deflation

November 11, 2008

Valley Wag published an interesting article called “One Third of Googlers Have Underwater Options.” You can read the full text here. “Underwater” is bank jargon for owning something that’s worth less than one planned. You buy a house for $1.0 million. The market price for the house is $500,000. You are underwater. Googlers by the thousands have stock options worth less than the Googlers hoped. In my opinion, the most interesting comment in the article was this comment:

A surprising majority of GOOG employees I know don’t really like their jobs.

If true, Google’s compensation deflation could lead to the loss of some key talent. With Yahoo struggling, who would benefit? In my limited view of the world, I think the defection of Googlers will pump up some promising start ups. I also think that some Googlers may decide to ply their trade for state owned research programs. A single company may not be able to replicate Google, but a country might.

Stephen Arnold, November 11, 2008


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