If there were any doubts that Facebook was serious about consumer hardware, this week’s executive move should quash them.
Alex Heath of Business Insider reported that vice president of ads and business platform Andrew Bosworth will now lead the company’s consumer hardware efforts, including virtual reality unit Oculus VR and hardware unit Building 8.
Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer shared the news with the company’s employees, according to Heath, adding that vp of ads engineering and product Mark Rabkin will assume Bosworth’s current responsibilities.
Among those who will report to Bosworth, according to Heath: recently appointed vp of VR Hugo Barra and Regina Dugan, who left Google’s advanced technology and projects group in April 2016 to help form Building 8.
Bosworth announced his move in a Facebook post (embedded below), saying in part, “After five years leading our ads and business platform organization, I’m returning to the consumer product space and shifting gears to work on virtual reality, augmented reality and consumer hardware … Today I don’t know much about consumer hardware. But I still believe in the power of human connection, and once again, I believe I have a great team to work with. I am excited to be back in a space that is not only new for me but in many cases new to the world, as well. It feels uncomfortable in the same way that News Feed or Messenger did when we first started. And in that way, it also feels like coming home. I can’t wait to get started.”
Facebook had not yet responded to a request for comment at the time of this post, but a spokesperson for the company told Heath, “We are excited about our long-term investments in virtual reality, augmented reality and consumer hardware. We believe these new technologies have the potential to bring the world closer together in entirely new ways, and we’ve built great teams with strong leadership in each of these areas. Bringing these teams closer together will help us move even faster as we continue to invest in our 10-year roadmap.”