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It's official: Google is the happiest place in the USA

CEO Page: 'best place to work' honor due to 'family' values

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Google has been named by Fortune as the best place to work in the US, moving up from number four in 2011, and regaining the top spot it held in 2008 and 2007.

"It's important that the company be a family, that people feel that they're part of the company," Google CEO and cofounder Larry Page told Fortune, "and that the company is like a family to them."

"If you're changing the world," Page said, "you're working on important things. You're excited to get up in the morning."

Changing the world is all well and good, of course, but Google's employees also benefit from on-campus medical care and child care, gyms, bocce-ball courts, a bowling alley, and massages. Google's New York office even offers eyebrow shaping – although they charge for it.

Of Google's famous free food policy, Page said he didn't know if it would continue forever, but noted that the expense didn't bother him. "I don't worry about the cost," he said. "The only thing I worry about is making sure we're not causing too much consumption as a result of it. It does make the company feel more like a family."

Among the top 10 tech companies in Fortune's Top 100 list are business analytics software vendor SAS Institute at number three, down from the top spot last year; NetApp, slipping from last year's fifth spot to sixth; and online mortgage lender Quicken Loans at number 10, rising from number 29 last year – although that company might more properly defined as a a financial firm.

Taking the second spot this year, as it did last year, is the Boston Consulting Group. One of BCG's most attractive perks is its salaries, which average $139,000 per year.

Page didn't mention salaries to Fortune, but he did give credit to the location of Google's Mountain View headquarters as one important company bennie. "California is a really nice place to live," he said. ®

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