Two members on Google’s board of directors wanted founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to personally try to poach Facebook employees, according to newly released documents from Silicon Valley’s high-profile wage collusion case, as noted by The Wall Street Journal.
The case — which accuses Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe of conspiring not to recruit each other’s talent — had previously released emails showing Google execs started getting concerned about Facebook recruiting its employees around 2007.
The latest emails, sent in 2010, suggest Google board of directors member Paul Otellini, Intel’s CEO, and venture capitalist John Doerr thought Google needed to step up its own recruiting game.
This is from an email sent by Prasad Setty, Google’s VP of compensation:
“Paul/John asked who was reaching out to the target Facebookers. They suggested that we have Larry/Sergey and Eng execs reach out rather than the Staffing leads.”
Here’s the reply from Google security executive Shannon Deegan:
“I don’t agree that we should be asking Larry and Sergey to reach out to Facebookers. That will quickly be leaked and I believe won’t look great.”
The court files show no evidence that Brin or Page ended up personally recruiting any Facebook employees.
Three years prior, a Google engineering had also manager sounded the alarm that employees were emailing about Google “providing counter-offers within an hour to Googlers who give notice about getting a Facebook offer,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Google apparently didn’t want that information publicized: The company’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt emailed the company at the time, saying, “Since I announced our 1 hour policy exactly 24 hours ago we should be embarrassed and disgusted by this leak.”
Both sides in the suit — the 64,000 tech workers suing and the four tech companies — approved a settlement of $US324 million, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is yet to approve it.