Morning Coffee Apr 16 2012

General Electric Goes on Tech Recruiting Splurge

By joseph walker

General Electric isn't a brand synonymous with software and big data, but that could change if the company's new recruiting push has its intended effect. GE is hiring up to 300 technologists for its San Ramon, Calif. research center, Bloomberg reports.

Competing for talent in Greater Silicon Valley is tough even for cutting-edge companies like Facebook, so century-old GE has its work cut out for itself. Its pitch to recruits is that they'll get to work on some of today's most interesting technical challenges. Working at GE isn't about helping people post camera phone photos to the Web, however lucrative that has turned out to be for Instagram. GE engineers work on what the company calls the "industrial Internet," using data and analytics to improve efficiency for airlines and railroads.

So far, the company has had some success poaching talent from notable Bay Area companies, including Google and Oracle. The R&D center's Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Ballon and its Chief Technology Officer Alok Batra both hail from Cisco. Without the prospect of an IPO cash windfall, GE has to use competitive cash salaries, bonuses, and San Ramon's family-friendly neighborhoods as bait. (Bloomberg)

Related: The Upside of a Demotion from Jack Welch

Related: Recruiters Circle Cisco Like Sharks

Moneyball HR (FINS)

Big data is coming to the human resources department and it's helping to determine compensation schedules, who should be offered flexible work arrangements and where companies recruit from.

Shake Up (FINS via WSJ)

Microsoft's chief executive for Greater China, Simon Leung, is leaving the company and will be replaced with Ralph Haupter, an executive currently based in Germany. Microsoft, like many companies, is still figuring out how to address software piracy in the country.

Cloud Gigs (FINS)

Cloud computing consultancy Appirio plans to hire 200 new employees this year after raising $60 million in venture capital financing last month. The company sees itself as displacing traditional consulting firms in the age of the cloud.

Switching Sides (AllThingsD)

Former Yahoo executive Joel Jones has joined Facebook's business operations team to work on advertising. Meanwhile, Marta Nichols has been appointed chief of staff for Yahoo Chief Executive Scott Thompson.

Mountain Gigs (Parker Chronicle)

Health-care software maker TriZetto plans to hire up to 750 technologists to fill its new headquarters in Douglas County, Colo. The new office building should be open for business by this time next year.

Relationships (NYT)

Instagram's remarkable success was built on top of real-world personal relationships between the company's founders and Silicon Valley's elite venture capitalists. But one relationship may have been soured by Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of the company. Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey unsuccessfully tried to buy Instagram and hasn't used the service since the Facebook deal went down.

Weird (HuffPo)

Among the perks that come with being a tech executive we can now add creating your own title. Rovio Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka calls himself the "mighty eagle," while Matrix Group Chief Executive Joanna Pineda goes by "Chief Trouble Officer."

Called Out (The Guardian)

Google co-founder Sergey Brin says the open Web is under attack from all sides. Repressive governments, entertainment industry lobbyists and even tech companies like Apple and Facebook are making the Internet a more closed place, he says.

Day in the Life (Fortune)

There's been a lot made of former employee complaints about working at Zynga, but Fortune magazine found that life is pretty hunky dory at the social games maker.

Buzz Around the Office

Protect Ya Head (YouTube)

A zany football helmet commercial from 1932.

List of the Day: Using Humor

Humor can be an effective way to ingratiate yourself with colleagues and bosses. Just don't take it too far.

1. Be careful with sarcasm. You don't want people to misconstrue your words.

2. Deploy humor to make people feel more comfortable.

3. Stay away from sensitive topics.

(Source: Forbes)

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