Here's Where Google Gets All Of Its Rock Star Talent

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Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

We already know where most of the talent leaving Google ends up — but where’s it coming from?We did a search on LinkedIn for Google, using the “past company” and “current company” filters.

From there, we tracked down where all Google is getting most of its talent.

Google is one of the best technology companies, with some of the most enviable perks in the world.

It’s not surprising someone would leave one of these companies to join Google.

A big chunk of Google's current talent came from Sun Microsystems.

Former Sun Microsystems employees: 1,340

Sun Microsystems is one of the most storied firms in Silicon Valley's history. It employed some of the smartest people in the world.

It's no surprise that some of them have found their way to Google after jumping from one company to the next.

Apple's juggernaut status is a big appeal to Google.

Former Apple employees: 1,345

Surprise! Apple, the most valuable company in the world. It would definitely have Google's attention.

Google is trying to fight Apple on multiple fronts -- particularly with smartphones and tablets. One strategy is to disassemble your competitor by pulling talent.

Still, it's not as much talent as one of Google's largest competitors.

Google got more than a thousand employees from Intel.

Former Intel employees: 1,367

Intel is a big-time chip manufacturer, and the hardware chops would appeal to a company like Google trying to develop its own phones.

In the meantime, having employees that specialize in chips helps Google more adequately integrate its software with different kinds of hardware.

Google gets a ton of employees from Cisco Systems, too.

Former Cisco employees: 1,620

You know Cisco Systems -- it's the company behind those wireless routers you probably already use.

It turns out Google gets a big chunk of employees from Cisco. It's not sexy, but appears to hold a lot of talent.

Nearly 2,000 employees come from Accenture.

Former Accenture employees: 1,849

Accenture is another old, big-time information and technology firm.

Some of the top departures from Accenture appear to have ended up in the advertising technology component of Google.

Larry Ellison lost more than 2,000 Oracle rock stars to Google.

Former Oracle employees: 2,043

You're probably starting to see a trend: a lot of Google's employees come from the top Silicon Valley technology firms in the 80s and 90s.

Oracle's no exception, and it's lost an even bigger chunk of talent than Apple to Google.

Google poaches a ton of people from Yahoo.

Former Yahoo employees: 2,438

A lot of the employees Google took from Yahoo appear to be software engineers.

Not really a surprise, given that Yahoo at one point was working on its own search engine and advertisement delivery platform.

A ton of former Hewlett-Packard employees are at Google.

Former HP employees: 2,580

HP is another older Silicon Valley firm that is losing a lot of talent to Google.

HP has had its share of problems, which probably opened the door for Google to come in and poach employees that are looking for a happier workplace.

Google has taken nearly four times as many employees from IBM as from Apple.

Former IBM employees: 4,480

IBM employs some of the smartest people in the world to work on crazy problems.

But, even then, so does Google -- and Google is probably seen as a more attractive place to work than an older tech firm like IBM.

Google pulls most of its employees from Microsoft.

Former Microsoft employees: 4,981

Microsoft is taking huge shots at Google.

It has its own search engine, Bing, and it's also taking a huge bet on Windows Phone 7 as a competitor to the likes of the iPhone and Android devices.

Why wouldn't Google want to poach as many people as it can from Steve Ballmer?

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