Google’s Regina Dugan to Lead Facebook’s New Connectivity Hardware Group

Facebook is diving into the connectivity hardware business, announcing the formation of a new group, Building 8, to be led by former Google executive Regina Dugan.

Facebook is diving into the connectivity hardware business, announcing the formation of a new group, Building 8, to be led by former Google executive Regina Dugan.

Dugan—pictured with Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg—most recently led Google’s advanced technology and projects group. Prior to Google, she served as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Zuckerberg introduced Building 8 and revealed Dugan’s hire in a post:

I’m excited to announce that we’ve started a new group at Facebook called Building 8, focused on building new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world.

This team will be led by Regina Dugan, who most recently led the advanced technology and projects group at Google, and before that was the director of DARPA.

I’m excited to have Regina apply DARPA-style breakthrough development at the intersection of science and products to our mission. This method is characterized by aggressive, fixed timelines, extensive use of partnerships with universities, small and large businesses and clear objectives for shipping products at scale.

We’ll be investing hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over the next few years. I’m excited to see breakthroughs on our 10-year roadmap in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important areas.

Dugan also discussed her move in a post of her own (embedded below):

Today is a bittersweet day for me.

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, I am sad to leave the pirates of ATAP. Each of our efforts to create new, seemingly impossible products has been faced with intense challenges along the way. Technical challenges. Organizational challenges. Challenges that might have broken lesser teams. This is the type of work we signed up for when we built ATAP. It is terrifying because it means we have to face our fear of failure, stare it down, more days than most. So be it.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on Building 8?