5 People, With Reasons, Who Left Google

5 People, With Reasons, Who Left Google

It’s no surprise that with a median over $160,000, generous benefits packages, and perks like free gourmet food, massages, and music lessons, Google is considered a dream job by so many people in the tech industry.

So why would anyone ever want to leave?

We spoke to several former Googlers to find out why they left the company. Compiling their responses with those of other former employees who have written about their departures publicly.

Their reasons include everything. From frustration with company politics to simply wanting to feel more freedom at a smaller company. One former Googler even quit to become a social-media influencer.

Read on to see the reasons 5 former Googlers gave for leaving the company.

1. Liz Wessel, cofounder and CEO of WayUp

Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

Why she left: Wessel said she knew it was time to leave Google. She just couldn’t stop thinking about her next career move.

“If you can’t do a good job at your job anymore because you’re spending all of your time thinking about another job opportunity, that’s probably a good sign,” she said.

2. Tyler Breisacher, software engineer at Hustle

Former position at Google: Software developer

Why he left: Breisacher was one of about a dozen Googlers who left the company in April. He left to protest Google’s controversial collaboration in which it provides the US Department of Defense with artificial-intelligence technology.

After thousands of employees signed a petition, Google announced it would cease work on the project next year.

“This is obviously a big deal, and it’s very encouraging, but this only happened after months and months of people signing petitions and [internal debate] and people quitting,” Breisacher told Business Insider.

Breisacher said his decision to leave was also influenced by Google’s sponsorship of a conservative political conference. As well as its failure to act decisively after YouTube videos related to LGBT issues were flagged. The videos had been considered inappropriate on the site.

“When I started, Google had a reputation as a pro-gay, pro-trans company,” Breisacher, who is gay, said in an interview. “I guess I’m disillusioned. I know that Google is a for-profit company and you shouldn’t expect it to do things purely for the good of the world. But in the past, we would expect leaders to listen to the employees and to think carefully about issues and not to cross certain lines.

“Things have changed at Google.”

 

3.Krystal Bick, social-media influencer

Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

Why she left: Bick left her six-figure job at Google in 2015 to pursue her side hustle: being a social-media influencer.

She left after she recognized that influencer marketing was seeing an influx of advertising dollars. Now, she earns as much as four figures for a single sponsored post and five figures for brand ambassadorships.

More importantly, she said, being an entrepreneur is liberating.

“There’s 90% certainty, and there’s 10% of ‘this could really fail miserably. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do. But I think I was comfortable enough with the fact that even if I fall flat on my face, at least I tried it, and I tried it at a moment where I feel like it really was an opportunity to try it.”

 

4. Daren Makuck, software engineer at Qwil

Former position at Google: Software engineer

Why he left: Makuck left a high-paying engineering gig at Google and took a 50% pay cut to work at Qwil. Qwil is a startup that facilitates payments between freelance workers and the companies that hire them.

His previous company, Toro, had been acquired by Google one year earlier. Makuck said he wanted to work at a smaller company again to feel more ownership of his work. He initially didn’t expect Qwil to be a long-term job. A conversation, however, with CEO Johnny Reinsch changed his mind.

“He replied, ‘If we can’t keep you happy enough to stay for more than a year, that’s on us,'”Makuck said. “This was the first time I had ever felt like a company — not just the people in it — would share the responsibility of my employment, and it’s something I didn’t even realize I needed.”

 

5. Libby Leffler, a vice president of SoFi

 

Former position at Google: Account strategist

Why she left: Leffler left Google in 2008 to work at Facebook, and in seven years she worked her way up from a client partner to the manager of strategic partnerships.

But she initially turned down the Facebook job offer, only to realize a few weeks later that it was the right move for her.

“It became very clear that there was a lot to learn in this new role at Facebook,” she said.

She said her chief concern in accepting the client-partner job was her lack of formal sales training.

“This was a great opportunity for me to dive in and see what I could do,” Leffler said. “My instinct at that time was very clear to look for and move into new opportunities where I could learn skills that I wasn’t familiar with.”

 

 

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