Correction: Chad Hurley has not entirely left Google, but maintains an advisory role.
Earlier this week, Business Insider reported that Google has surprised all of its employees with $1,000 cash holiday bonuses and 10% raises across the board, according to unnamed sources. Now reports are surfacing that the employee who leaked the information has been fired.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt sent out an internal memo late Tuesday, informing all employees (full-time and part-time) of the pay raises and cash bonuses. The memo quickly found its way into the hands of the press, and within hours of the information being leaked, the informant was tracked down and terminated.
The pay raises and bonuses are believed to be incentives to retain employees and keep them from wandering over to other tech firms, like Facebook. The company has been experiencing a brain-drain as talented Google employees look elsewhere for appreciation, including designer Douglas Bowman, AdMob co-founder Omar Hamoui, and, most recently, Google Maps creator Lars Rasmussen.
Upon leaving Google, Rasmussen told reporters from the Sydney Morning Herald that Google had become too large and unwieldy to get anything meaningful accomplished, a sentiment that was earlier echoed by designer Douglas Bowman, who left Google in 2009 and noted in his blog that Google’s data-focused approach to everything had made it impossible to be efficient. “Data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions,” wrote Bowman. Rasmussen, like so many others, went to Facebook, which supports 2,000 employees.
Google did not comment on the firing or the employee raises, other than to say in a prepared statement: “We do believe that competitive compensation plans are important to the future of the company.”
With more than 23,000 employees, those $1000 bonuses and 10% raises will add up to a hefty bill. The bonuses alone will cost the company some $20 million, and on top of that, Google is paying all of the taxes on those bonuses so that employees can keep all of the money. The companywide 10% pay raises could add up to a whopping $1 billion a year.
Business Insider first reported on the raises and bonuses, and it included a copy of the internal memo, which is included below.
CONFIDENTIAL: INTERNAL ONLY
GOOGLERS ONLY (FULL TIME AND PART TIME EMPLOYEES)
I’m pleased to share some very, very good news with Googlers worldwide. But first let me say, on behalf of everyone on the management team, that we believe we have the best employees in the world. Period. The brightest, most capable group of this size ever assembled. It’s why I’m excited to come to work every day--and I’m sure you feel the same way. We want to make sure that you feel rewarded for your hard work, and we want to continue to attract the best people to Google.
So that is why we’ve decided...to give all of you a 10% raise, effective January 1st. This salary increase is global and across the board--everyone gets a raise, no matter their level, to recognize the contribution that each and every one of you makes to Google.
There’s more. We’ve heard from your feedback on Googlegeist and other surveys that salary is more important to you than any other component of pay (i.e., bonus and equity). To address that, we’re moving a portion of your bonus into your base salary, so now it’s income you can count on, every time you get your paycheck. That’s also effective January 1st. You’ll be receiving an email shortly with further details about these changes to your compensation. And one last thing...today we’re announcing that everyone will get a holiday cash bonus, too.
Googlers, you are what makes this company great, and our goal here is to recognize you for your contribution, in a way that’s meaningful to you. Thank you for all that you do, and for making Google a place where magic happens.
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