Google or Apple? For Tech Execs, a Hard Choice

Google, Apple swap talent as Microsoft and Yahoo look on helplessly

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    The iPhone versus Android battle is heating up, with managers and developers picking sides.

    Google, another company hoping to chip away at Apple's fast-growing market share, has hired uber-geek Tim Bray to work on the team developing its Android operating system for mobile devices.

    Bray, who help create XML -- a technology standard which is a large part of the online experience -- specifically stated that he went with Google because he disagreed with the philosophy of closed development platforms and application systems like the one behind the iPhone and its operating software.

    Ah, but two can play at that game! Apple has managed to poach Google's Director of Project Management, RJ Pittman.

    It's another sign that the relationship between the two companies has soured -- a rumored "gentleman's agreement" between the two companies not to poach employees had enough teeth to help convince the Federal Trade Commission to investigate that and other antitrust allegations.

    Other indication of the differing philosophies of the two companies comes in the form of an essay from a lawyer familiar with employees at both companies who suggests that Apple specifically denies recognition to its employees so that word of their talent doesn't leak to other companies and lead to offers.

    Meanwhile, things have gotten so bad at Yahoo that CEO Carol Bartz isn't always finding out that her executive underlings are abandoning ship until she reads it in the news. Ouch.

    And Microsoft employees afraid of CEO Steve Ballmer are actively hiding their Apple iPhones, with the company refusing to pay iPhone-related expenses in 2009. That's hardly going to attract savvy Web talent to Redmond.

    That said, finding out about jobs being won and lost in the press is typical in Hollywood, so maybe Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are becoming media companies after all?

    Jackson West has shuffled over to Eater for a bit, though he's just moonlighting.