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Facebook Gets Google’s ATAP Head Regina Dugan To Lead Its New Hardware Division Called “Building 8”

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It is not uncommon to see executives switching companies in Silicon Valley. But Facebook has managed to do a major hiring scoop, recruiting Head of Advanced Technology and Products(ATAP) group at Google- Regina Dugan.  Like ATAP, Facebook is also planning to build an exclusive hardware division called Building 8 and Dugan will be looking after the same.

Regina Dugan is a highly respected professional in the tech circle and was behind many ambitious projects for Google such as Project Tango, modular smartphones, 3D mapping devices and smart fabrics to name a few.

Before joining Google in 2012, Dugan served as the first woman Director of the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where she worked towards developing breakthrough advanced technologies.

She is known for her unique ability to bridge the gap between high-profile research in advanced technologies and practical product development incorporating those technologies.

According to Facebook, Dugan will work towards developing “new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world.”

Facebook is planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into Building 8 to develop hardware mostly complementing its present efforts in the field of artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

And Dugan will lead those product development initiatives aligned with advanced research and development. In the words of Dugan,

We will focus on ambitious R&D as a means to create breakthrough products.

Dugan has not mentioned any reason for leaving Google and just wrote in a blog post that she was said for leaving “the pirates of ATAP” with whom  she faced intense challenges to create new, seemingly impossible products.

On her decision to join Facebook and more specifically Building 8 initiative, Dugan said, 

I am on the one hand, tremendously excited. Building 8 is an opportunity to do what I love most… tech infused with a sense of our humanity. Audacious science delivered at scale in products that feel almost magic. A little badass. And beautiful. There is much to build at Facebook… and the mission is human… compelling.

On the other hand, it will be very difficult for Google to fill the gap left by Regan Dugan at ATAP. In a statement released by the company, Google said, “We thank Regina Dugan for all her leadership and contributions as part of the Advanced Technology and Projects group, and wish her the very best.”

As per Facebook, Regan Dugan is expected to start working for them “soon”.


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