Google: Cycling Through a Brain Drain?

One more noticeable Google employee has bolted for new challenges -- all within a week of an ever more noticeable departure.

Kate Vale, who ran Google's first ad-service portal -- out of her living room -- was the search giant's first Australian employee, according to the Sydney (Australia) Herald.

Just last wek,  Lars Rasmussen announced he is headed to Facebook -- a company he calls "... a once-in-a-decade opportunity."

Rasmussen is the Sydney, Australia-based co-founder of Google maps, also according to the Sydney Herald. He once shepherded Google Wave, a real-time sharing site that never quite caught on with users, but was favored by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Rasmussen quit Friday and will rest on a beach and then head to San Francisco. His job description? "I've got a job description of 'come hang out with us for a while and we'll see what happens', which is a pretty exciting thing," he told the Herald. Mark Zuckerberg made a personal pitch to clinch the deal, apparently.

He will join two other former Google bigwigs: Facebook's chief technology officer Bret Taylor and platform manager Carl Sjogreen. 

Taylor (whose blog is a must-read for much of Silicon Valley) was CEO of FriendFeed, a firm Facebook gobbled up about 15 months ago.

Sjogreen led the team that gave the world Google Calendar -- no small feat.

Of course, the demise of intellect was chortled back in July, when two other bigwigs split for Facebook.

While Google continues to gain market value and introduce new products, the longer-term results of these departures will play out in the long tail.

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