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Congratulations, Google staff: $210k in profit per head in 2008


Google had $209,624 in profit per employee in 2008, which beats all the other large tech companies we looked at, including big hitters like Microsoft, Apple, Intel and IBM.
(As you may know, we have been taking a closer look at what kind of money some of the most well-known tech companies are making. The ones we have been looking at are Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Cisco, Dell, eBay, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and Yahoo.)

Correction to the numbers above: Baidu’s numbers are in Chinese RMB, not USD.
Some companies who have almost the same profit per employee:

  • Just over $30k: IBM, Yahoo, Amazon and Dell.
  • Around $64k: Oracle and Intel.
  • Around $120k: Adobe and Cisco.

A battle against overhead due to size?

One would imagine that the larger a company gets, the more difficult it becomes to minimize overhead and costs. For example, HP and IBM, by far the largest companies listed here in terms of sheer size, have a relatively low profit margin per employee.
In that sense Microsoft is doing a very good job considering that they are close to matching Google in spite of having 4.5 times as many employees. And of course, looking at overall profit for the company, Microsoft is way ahead of every other company on this list.
We’re definitely not financial analysts, but it seems to us that Google is doing a really good job keeping their company profitable even though they have grown so rapidly (Google just turned 10 last year).

Summary table for 2008

For those interested, here is a table with some more data, including the actual number of employees and the revenue per employee. The list is sorted by profit per employee:

Revenue and profit per employee in 2008 (in USD)
Company Employees Revenue per employee Profit per employee
Google 20,164 1,080,914 209,624
Microsoft 91,000 663,956 194,297
Baidu 6,397 499,961 163,844
Apple 32,000 1,014,969 151,063
Cisco 66,129 597,922 121,762
Adobe 7,335 488,056 118,856
eBay 16,200 527,238 109,844
Intel 82,500 455,588 64,145
Oracle 86,657 258,837 63,711
Dell 76,500 798,706 32,392
Amazon 20,600 930,388 31,311
Yahoo 13,600 530,037 31,199
IBM 398,455 260,080 30,957
HP 321,000 368,735 25,947
Sun 33,556 413,637 12,010

Correction to the numbers above: Baidu’s numbers are in Chinese RMB, not USD.
Further reading: You might want to check out our two previous posts in this little series, the first being about how much money these companies are making, and the second one being about how big they are.
Hat tip to Daniel Howard who asked us for the profit per employee numbers in the first place.
Data source: Google Finance
All the companies we included in this survey are publicly traded on NYSE/NASDAQ. Although Sun was recently bought by Oracle, we included it anyway.
Image credit: Tracy O.

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