In a 2011 presentation at Startup School,Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his position on employee retention abundantly clear: if people want to work at startup for a year or two and then pursue a business idea of their own, more power to ‘em. In fact, Zuckerberg said, he’d be proud.
It’s a funny statement for a company that’s been entrenched in talent wars since its 2004 founding. Facebook employees are offered myriad perks, cushy office space and benefits to bring them into the fold and even more once they’re on board.
But there’s one perk of working at Facebook that’s gone largely unexamined: the bragging rights employees take with them when they move on. Online recruitment and human resource firm Careerify found that a full 10% of former Facebook employees founded their own companies upon leaving Zuckerberg’s fold—and many enjoyed a serious bump in funding (and buzz) thanks to the Facebook name on their founder’s CV.
Of the 113 CEOs that we observed, over 10% are Stanford University Alumni. And 27% of the start-ups founded by former FB-ers’, are located in the San Francisco Area/Palo Alto area (indication of the strong hold that the Silicon Valley has on their residents). According to Angel List data, those that have listed their start-up average a valuation of $4.6M, trailing only MySpace ($5.5M),Google ($5.2M), PayPal ($5.2M), Adobe ($5.2M), Apple($4.8M), Accenture ($4.8M), Electronic Arts ($4.8M), and Sun ($4.7M). Facebook founders are also likely to raise higher than the average entrepreneur in the US.
That former Facebookers benefit from the brand association their relationship with Zuckerberg is no small consideration. To Zuckerberg, it seems a fair trade-off, a symbiotic relationship really. Talent contributes to Facebook for as long as their onboard (by Careerify’s measure some for as little as a few months), but when they move on they can leverage their experience and the high-wattage of the Facebook halo.
Check out the infographic for highlights–and Careerify for more insights.