Facebook Poaches Google Tech Wiz in Battle of Infrastructure Giants

April 13, 2016, 7:28 PM UTC
Weinberg-Clark Photography Weinberg-Clark Photography Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved

Facebook has hired Regina Dugan away from Google to lead its new “Building 8” unit, a project that will aim to combine potentially mind-bending research with the more pragmatic world of product development.

The idea of Building 8—part of Facebook’s just-outlined 10-year plan—is to build stuff to better connect the world. While connecting people has always been Facebook’s mantra, the advent of billions of connected devices that comprise the Internet of things, adds a whole new dimension going forward. In the future, people will increasingly communicate with devices in addition to other people.

Building hardware for that mission will be a big chunk of Dugan’s job.

Dugan had led Google’s (GOOG) Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) effort. Before that, she was director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Read More: Inside Facebook’s Biggest Artificial Intelligence Project Ever

In a statement, Facebook (FB) touted Dugan as “a proven leader with a long track record of building teams that deliver breakthroughs in research and product development.”

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook (FB), like Google, knows how to scale. It counts more than 1.4 billion active daily users for whom it must store and manage photos, videos, and lots and lots of posts.

Also like Google, it has pioneered innovative data center hardware and software. Facebook drove the creation of the Open Compute Project, for example.

Check out everything Facebook unveiled at F8:

The news of Dugan’s appointment follows barely a day after the opening of Facebook’s F8 Conference, during which company execs such as chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a world of bots and revealed its aforementioned 10-year plan.


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