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Ionut Alex Chitu compiled a selection of farewell notes from departed Googlers. Nostalgic and longwinded, they're full of remembrances of free food and something called respect for engineers. Here's the good stuff — Googlers on why Googlers go. Four-word version: To be in charge.

  • "In my career, I've always swung between the big and the small and it's time for another shift." — Jeff Veen, Design Manager
  • "These days, it seems like a lot of the true innovations are made at small startups, which have the benefit of being orders of magnitude times more agile and efficient than a large company will ever be." — DigitalHobbit
  • "I wasn't looking for a new job, but a great opportunity fell in my lap that I felt I had to take." — Jess Lee, Google Maps Project Manager
  • "The one thing I began to miss at Google as it grows was the ability to be a generalist within the company. In a startup, it is easy and encouraged for folks to wear multiple hats. I used to buy data centers and fiber, manage an acquisition, work on Google Talk, pitch an access partner, receive a dignitary and give a speech about the future of media all in the same week. As a company gets bigger, inevitably, it begins to organize itself vertically and employees are pushed to specialize." — Chris Sacca, Head of Special Initiatives
  • "The challenge of creating something new in a space that's so young and evolving was too great to pass up." — Vanessa Fox, Google Webmaster Central Product Manager
  • "I'm ready to do something new with a smaller group of people." — Nelson Minar, who created Google's first APIs

(Photo by Sebastian Bergmann)