Get All Access for $5/mo

Meta's AI Chief Says He Turned Down a Job as a Google Director in 2002 Partly Because of Low Pay Yann LeCun won the Turing Prize for his research in 2018.

By Beatrice Nolan

Key Takeaways

  • Meta's AI chief says he turned down an early job offer for director of research at Google.
  • Yann LeCun said there were several reasons for the decision, including the compensation package.
  • He acknowledged, however, that "the stock option package would have ended up stratospheric."
Chesnot | Getty Images via Business Insider
Meta's chief AI scientist Yann LeCun.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Meta's chief AI scientist, Yann LeCun, says he turned down a job offer for director of research at Google in 2002.

In a post on X, LeCun said there were several reasons behind the decision, including the size of the company and the compensation package.

LeCun said the salary was low, especially at a time when he needed money to support his teenage sons. Despite the low compensation, LeCun said "the stock option package would have ended up stratospheric."

He also said the company had 600 employees and no revenue at the time. This meant the role would have involved many things other than research, including corporate strategy and management, he said in the post.

LeCun, who won the Turing Prize for his research in 2018, said he wanted to refocus on research in several areas, including machine learning. The deep-learning pioneer also said his family didn't want to move to California at the time.

He added that if he'd taken the role at Google, he may have changed parts of the company culture.

In the post, LeCun said, "Had I joined, I think the research culture at Google would have been different. I might have made it a bit more open and a bit more ambitious a bit earlier."

Critics have previously accused Google of being slow and overly cautious with its AI development.

The success of the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT reportedly raised alarm bells at Google. The company has since released competing products for several of OpenAI's products, including its own AI-powered chatbot to rival ChatGPT.

Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.