Facebook Built Its Gigantic Empire By Grabbing Employees From These Top Technology Companies

mark zuckerberg facebook

Photo: AP

Facebook is the hottest technology company on the planet right now.It’s finally going public. It just bought Instagram for $1 billion. It’s probably worth more than $100 billion.

How did it manage to get here?

It all starts with the employees, which have a dang good pedigree. 

We did a search on LinkedIn for Facebook, using the “past company” and “current company” filters.

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

Facebook actually gets a small number of employees from Intel.

Former Intel employees: 41

Intel is a big-time chip manufacturer. It's one of the oldest and most successful technology firms in Silicon Valley.

It's to be expected that Facebook, which employs some of the best engineers, has employees that were at Intel at one point or another.

PayPal lost some employees to Facebook...

Former PayPal employees: 45

PayPal is pretty much a legend in Silicon Valley.

It minted the PayPal mafia, which included the likes of Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook, and Reid Hoffman, another investor in Facebook.

You can bet they had a few suggestions for Mark Zuckerberg.

...along with its parent company eBay.

Former eBay employees: 57

Thiel and company probably had a few suggestions for employees from their parent company eBay as well.

eBay was also another big-time success, so it's no surprise that some of Facebook's employees were there at one point.

Even Cisco Systems is a place to snag talent.

Former Cisco employees: 57

Cisco Systems is that company that makes those routers.

It's not sexy, but appears to hold a lot of talent. Google, Facebook and Apple all pull a lot of talent from Cisco Systems.

Oracle lost a bunch of employees to Facebook.

Former Oracle employees: 66

Larry Ellison employs some pretty smart people to tackle a very tough problem -- secure enterprise services.

Facebook needs that kind of security and it is also a gigantic web of data centres and servers. It's exactly the kind of thing an Oracle employee would get excited about.

Facebook likes to take employees from IBM if it can.

Former IBM employees: 66

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

Facebook is working on a very big, very interesting problem -- connecting and networking more than 800 million people.

That's just the kind of problem someone at IBM would want to solve.

Of course Facebook recruits from Apple.

Former Apple employees: 72

What other tech company in the world touches millions of people?

Employees at Apple have experience building rock-solid user experiences that are tough to match -- whether you're talking about the Mac operating system or the iPhone.

Just the kind of thing Facebook is looking for.

Facebook snags a big chunk of people from Yahoo.

Former Yahoo employees: 225

Facebook's recruits from Yahoo are all over the board -- sales, engineering, data centres and pretty much everything in between.

Yahoo might be having some problems but at one point it was like Google and Facebook, recruiting some of the smartest people in the world.

Facebook recruits a ton from the Microsoft school of engineering.

Former Microsoft employees: 324

It seems these days that Microsoft is almost considered a good graduate school for engineers.

Facebook, Apple and Google all prize it as a source of talent poaching. Facebook is probably particularly attractive because it's a very young company.

Google is where most of Facebook's talent comes from.

Former Googlers: 472

The typical engineering track these days seems to be joining Microsoft, then jumping to Google, then jumping to Facebook.

Any engineer will tell you a resume like that will get you a job wherever you want. Or a big wad of cash when you start your own company.

Facebook and Google also face similar problems (search and social networking) and try to employ generally brilliant people.

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