Amazon poached 30 executives from Microsoft in the last three years - six times as many executives as the next lead poacher, Google

Satya Nadella and Jeff BezosChip Somodevilla / Staff

  • Amazon has poached more executives from Microsoft than any other tech company did from 2015 to 2017, according to data-collecting startup Paysa.
  • Microsoft is known for churning out quality employees, but while other tech giants have taken two (Apple and eBay) or five (Google) execs in those three years, Amazon has managed to poach 30.
  • Proximity likely has a lot to do with the migration, but Amazon's innovation and compensation are reportedly also deciding factors, especially for employees who have already spent years at Microsoft.

What do the names Dave Treadwell, Marc Whitten, and Dirk Didascalou, have in common? They're all former Microsoft employees and - as of 2016 - current vice presidents at Amazon.

Microsoft's forty-year-old reputation for churning out good employees definitely precedes it, but while other tech giants like Apple, eBay, and Google have attracted some Microsoft talent, Amazon has poached more by a long shot.

In the years between 2015 and 2017, 30 executives (director and above) have left Microsoft in order to work for Amazon, compared to the five that have gone to Google - the next leading company to poach from Microsoft, according to data-collecting startup Paysa, reports CNBC's Eugene Kim.

Amazon wasn't immediately available for comment, but CNBC points to a few factors that could contribute to Amazon's drastically higher number. From an outsider's perspective, it might be as simple as the fact that the e-commerce giant is having a bit of a moment: its stock price has more than doubled over the course of a two years and it seems to have a stake in almost every industry.

From a Microsoft employee's standpoint, Amazon's location is likely a big draw for anyone looking for a change, since the offices are about a 30-minute drive west of Microsoft's headquarters. Amazon's employee base has been growing quickly as its stock sky-rockets, so the opportunities to switch to a new and conveniently located company were plentiful.

The companies are innovating in such similar ways (e.g. smart assistants and cloud computing), that it becomes difficult to compare, and unfortunately for Microsoft, "Amazon is seen as more exciting, more at the edge - the creative innovator that has disrupted every market," Michael Useem, Wharton school of business management professor told CNBC, adding that more of his MBA graduate students put Amazon at the top of their list than they did just a few years ago.

It doesn't hurt that Amazon's success has also allowed it to attract employees with signing bonuses, as seen by this data pulled from Blind. The anonymous workplace app found incoming Amazon employees were more likely to receive a bonus than most other tech companies, including Microsoft.

Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.

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