A significant portion of Twitter employees — something like 13 percent — used to work at Google.
According to LinkedIn, 87 of the 641 people who say they currently work at Twitter were formerly employed by Google. (Twitter said this week that it has 600 employees, so that number’s a bit off, but probably in the general neighborhood.)
Early Google employees don’t get as much credit as those of, say, PayPal, for founding and funding a new generation of start-ups. But former Googlers seem to have made a practice of infiltrating promising new tech companies as they look for the next big thing.
At one point last year, it was noted that 200 former Googlers worked at Facebook, making up 12.5 percent of its staff at the time, including top executives like Sheryl Sandberg and many of the product people Facebook brought in through acquisitions.
Something similar seems to be happening at Twitter, though it’s still much smaller. CEO Dick Costolo was with Google after it acquired his start-up FeedBurner (but some say that means he’s not truly born-and-bred Google). Co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone (both no longer in operational roles) were also formerly at Google, though again, Williams came in through an acquisition (of his Pyra Labs, which made Blogger).
The Google influence seems especially prevalent on Twitter’s product team. Satya Patel, who is director of product management, was formerly a well-respected Googler, and nearly every Twitter product manager seems to have had some history at the Plex — save for the four who were recently let go.