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Google Inc (GOOG),, inc. (CRM): The “Best Companies to Work For” Are Also Great Investments

Further,, inc. (NYSE:CRM) makes a point to tell applicants “we expect you to get your code in on time, but where and how it’s done is up to you.” In other words, they’re offering the kind of work from home environment that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has banned at her company. While it makes good headlines, and Mayer seems very bright, I have to question that strategy. Computer programmers have an unemployment rate far below the national average (4%) and the truly great IT Executives are nearly impossible to find.

It’s not that these Professionals care so much about having the flexibility to “play Ping-Pong and work from home,” it’s that they feel that Executives like Mayer who value “sitting in an office” don’t understand what they do. To them, it’s about hitting a deadline, and having the trust from their employer to do so.

Being seen as “stodgy” or “old” is what Mayer really risks with this policy, which could be more harmful than having a high P/E ratio. Only time will tell how this all works out, but for now I can’t tell you that Yahoo! is cheaper than, inc. (NYSE:CRM). I don’t care about todays P/E, not with tech; what matters is who will be working at each firm tomorrow.

Why the Best Places to Work, make the best investments

Fellow Fools, if we ran a business together on “Main St.” we would agree on one simple truth: a Company will go as far as its Employees take it. That’s common sense, and it’s actually what smart Executives on Wall St. think too.

So why does this simple logic elude us when ticker symbols are involved?

For some reason, we tend to think of a P/E ratio as a much better tool to value a business than a list of the “Best Places to Work.” Perhaps this list isn’t comprehensive enough, but I’d argue that we should all be evaluating how the companies we own find and keep top talent–especially tech companies.

If you’re an investor you’re an owner, it’s that simple. You ought to know who is minding the store.

The article The “Best Companies to Work For” Are Also Great Investments originally appeared on is written by Adem Tahiri.

Adem Tahiri owns shares of Google. The Motley Fool recommends Google and The Motley Fool owns shares of Google. Adem is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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