At Google, engineers run the show.
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin both have a technical background, and, early on, the duo put a huge emphasis on hiring people with engineering experience — even for positions where it wasn’t necessarily required.
Although the company is enormous now and has plenty of employees with non-technical backgrounds, there’s still the sense that product and tech teams are appreciated more than others.
In his interesting piece about internal competition for Google’s top sales position, The Information’s Amir Efrati says members of Google’s sales teams often feel like they have to prove their worth.
He tells one story about an infamous sales meeting a few years ago, where Page said something that felt rather insulting to some of the people in attendance. Page thanked the sales team for “collecting the money.”
“The comment was a genuine attempt to show appreciation,” Efrati writes, “But it was viewed by some as a backhanded compliment.”
Page praises Google’s engineers for creating world-changing products that save lives, while the sales team is, well, just taking money. Page didn’t mean to offend anyone, but it struck a nerve with the non-technical employees who, according to Efrati, already “feel like second-class citizens.”
Of course, that money the sales team is collecting is extremely important to Google: About 95% of its revenue comes from ads.
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