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Cubicle envy is back in Silicon Valley. Google's planned stock market debut is likely to hand a stock option windfall of more than $3bn to its employees, according to details in an official filing and estimates of the company's value.
But with the wealth spread unevenly among its 1,907 rank and file staff - known inside the company as "Googlers" - tensions are likely to run high, other technology executives warn.
Cubicle envy was a blight in the dotcom boom, when those who joined a company late found themselves next to earlier joiners with much bigger gains from stock options. Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, an online payments company, says it does not take long for workers to find out how much they are each worth.
"You might be worth $100,000 on the day of the IPO but the person in the next cubicle is worth $1m, and that can affect team performance," he says.
Even worse for morale, some workers have no stock options at all. "When you have employees getting rich and temporary workers seeing what happens, that can create a lot of tension," warns David Nagel, chief executive of PalmSource, which makes software for personal organisers.