Just before joining the wage-theft pact with Apple, Google’s human resources executives are quoted sounding the alarm that they needed to “dramatically increase the engineering hiring rate” and that would require “drain[ing] competitors to accomplish this rate of hiring.” One CEO who noticed Google’s hiring spree was eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who in early 2005 called Eric Schmidt to complain, “Google is the talk of the Valley because [you] are driving up salaries across the board.” Around this time, eBay entered an illegal wage-theft non-solicitation scheme of its own with Bill Campbell’s Intuit, which is still being tried in ongoing federal and California state suits.Driving up salaries?!?! Quit that, Google!
I think because chemistry is a much more mature business, there's a lot less likelihood that there is conspiracy amongst CEOs of chemical companies to keep salaries down. (Those CEOs much less likely to talk to one another, and much more likely to keep their legal departments in the loop -- I hope.) (Um, there's probably a lot more likelihood that there are conspiracies to keep prices of certain products high.)
Also, there's not enough growth amongst chemical and pharmaceutical companies to really drive a boom in hiring, which would put upward pressure on salaries and engender this sort of anti-poaching collusion. What a shame.