This is intriguing [emphasis added]...
The move is one of a series Google has made to prevent its most promising engineers, designers and sales executives from leaving at a time when its once-powerful draws -- a start-up atmosphere and soaring stock price -- have been diluted by its growing size.
I liked this bit the best:
I'm just imagining the conversation...
Valued Employee: "Come in."
Nervous Boss: "You may not know it yet, but you're about to leave Google. We don't want that."
Valued Employee, looking around for bugs and hidden cameras: "Nooo... I don't think so..."
Nervous Boss: "Never mind all that. We're giving you a pay raise, more stock options, a corner office, a personal assistant and a reserved parking spot."
Valued Employee: "But, but..."
Nervous Boss: "Let me finish. You're going to get extra vacation time, free membership in the executive gym, free lunch coupons at the company cafeteria..."
Valued Employee: "But I don't..."
Nervous Boss: "Hang on. There's more. We're putting you on this new fun project and giving the old, tedious one to one of the new guys and..."
Valued Employee: "OK, enough. I haven't been straight with you. You're right. I am planning on leaving. Did the algorithm tell you why?"
Nervous Boss: "Uh, no."
Valued Employee: "I'm leaving because you don't listen to me. I'm leaving because all this material wealth isn't going to bring me happiness. I've been accepted to seminary. I'm planning to go preach the gospel in the jungles in Papua New Guinea."
Nervous Boss, consulting print-out from the trusty Google personnel algorithm: "Oh. I see... Do they have search engines there"?