Google Autonomous Car Engineers Paid Too Much, Ended Up Leaving After Becoming Rich

Google made a mistake with its compensation system for its early self-driving car engineers that led to some people quitting the project after amassing a significant sum of money. Bloomberg reports the early engineers "had an unusual compensation system" involving multipliers and bonuses for their salaries based on the progress of the project.

This led to Google spending a ton of money on the engineers, with one obtaining a "multiplier of 16 applied to bonuses and equity amassed over four years."

In spending this amount on its staffers, the chance of losing good engineers to competitors was temporarily reduced. But it eventually had the effect of actually leaving people with enough money to quit.

Some of the engineers ultimately went on to join riskier startups, such as the self-driving truck company Otto due to their newfound financial security.