Here's Where All That Talent Microsoft Can't Hold On To Ends Up

Photo: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley

Not surprising: Google employs the most ex-Microsoft employees.More surprising: Expedia employs more ex-Microsoft employees than Facebook.

We did a search on LinkedIn for Microsoft, using “past company” as a filter. From there we tracked down where all the former Microsoft employees are landing.

You’d think a company like Facebook, which is going to mint more than 1,000 millionaires with its IPO, would be more attractive to former Microsoft employees.

Apparently not. Where the Microsoft alumni actually end up might surprise you.

Facebook attracts a lot — but by no means the majority — of former Microsoft employees.

Former employees: 300

You'd think Facebook would attract the widest swath of Microsoft's diaspora, but they are actually the lowest on the list of the top 11 companies hiring former Microsoft employees.

Still, it's a sizable chunk, but nothing compared to Google alumni -- which, as a majority, end up at Facebook.

Expedia — yes, Expedia — attracts more employees than Facebook

Former employees: 355

Expedia is worth around $4.6 billion right now.

It's still essentially a flight search engine, so the company naturally needs to attract a lot of software engineers to build the best engine to beat companies like Priceline.

Apple is also pretty low on the list of top Microsoft landing zones.

Former employees: 362

Apple placing on this list shouldn't be a surprise -- it's a company that specialises in both hardware and software.

That makes any former Microsoft employee a natural fit, and who wouldn't want to work at a place where you know your products are used by tens of millions of people every day?

SAP attracts more former Microsoft employees than Apple.

Former employees: 399

Microsoft also builds a lot of enterprise-class technology and software, like servers and Microsoft's SharePoint.

That would make SAP a good landing spot for former Microsoft employees. SAP isn't the first enterprise company you'll find on this list.

Dell brings over a ton of former Microsoft employees.

Former employees: 446

Microsoft was originally known for building PC software, so it also makes sense that a company like Dell would want to bring former Microsoft employees over.

In addition to building PCs, Dell is also one of the top manufacturers of servers and enterprise infrastructure.

Halfway point: Cisco Systems brings in twice as many employees as Facebook.

Former employees: 608

Yep -- Cisco Systems. The router company that is another big provider of enterprise infrastructure is a top landing spot for former Microsoft workers.

Who knew enterprise companies were able to do such a good job of grabbing Microsoft alumni?

Larry Ellison is attracting a ton of former Microsoft workers.

Former employees: 652

Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison isn't afraid of competition -- in fact, he's the type to gun after it full speed.

That includes poaching top talent to run its titanic enterprise infrastructure business. Oracle is one of the top draws for talent from Microsoft -- consisting of a big chunk of former Microsoft salespeople.

Just a few more enterprise companies left... including IBM

Former employees: 681

IBM is another huge vendor for servers and enterprise infrastructure.

Starting to see a pattern here? Microsoft is stacked with talent when it comes to enterprise infrastructure -- but it does seem to let a lot of it go.

Hewlett-Packard is the top infrastructure-style draw for former Microsoft employees.

Former employees: 695

Again, a big chunk of the Microsoft diaspora at HP seems to consist of sales, but there are a bunch of cloud computing experts too.

HP is one of the top vendors for PCs and it's also a big enterprise company. It's a more appealing draw than the likes of IBM and Oracle, too.

Back to consumers: Amazon is the second most-popular landing site for Microsoft alumni.

Former employees: 1,108

Maybe it's because Amazon is only a stone's throw from Microsoft's campus in Redmond, but Amazon has attracted a huge number of former Microsoft employees.

They need a lot of people to power the back-end infrastructure, which handles torrents of traffic every day -- and every second that the site is running slow or down leads to fewer sales by the retailer.

No surprise: Google attracts the most talent from Microsoft.

Former employees: 1,418

Google and Microsoft are going toe-to-toe in just about everything. Search, cloud documentation, phones -- you name it.

One approach to being better than your competitor is to just steal talent away from them. Google has done just that -- and the reverse isn't as potent either, since only around 300 former Google employees have landed at Microsoft.

But Google isn't totally immune to losing talent either...

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