AOL just hired another former Google
Skeptics talk about a "Google brain drain," as if a few migrant executives would topple the entire company. That supposed drain has been going on for years, and is showing no signs of letting up. Ex-Googlers have gone on to fresh startups like Twitter and Facebook, to senior posts at promising businesses like VMware
And yes, several former Googlers have moved to Time Warner's
If AOL set out to build a microcosm of Google before going public, then the company is doing a great job. These are proven engineers, leaders, and entrepreneurs with solid e-business experience from their years at Google and elsewhere. When Time Warner kicks this birdie out of the nest, I expect AOL to find its wings quickly. AOL may never relive the glory years of the 1990s when "You've got mail" was a daily routine for millions of early Internet users, but it could at least re-establish itself as a legitimate rival to Yahoo!
In the meantime, personnel moves are nothing new in Silicon Valley. Google snatched many of its key employees from competitors like Microsoft. CEO Eric Schmidt came in from Novell
Even if Google starts losing some truly high-profile names, like search maven Marissa Mayer or technology evangelist Vint Cerf, the show must and willgo on. As long as the triumvirate of Eric, Larry, and Sergei stays intact at the top, Google's pulse will stay strong. Even those guys might be replaceable in a pinch. Google has a unique corporate culture in which the vision comes from the top and execution lives in the day-to-day trenches.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.