Facebook Hires Former CTO of Second Life, Cory Ondrejka, Plus Startup

Facebook confirmed it acquired the startup Walletin and hired its founders Cory Ondrejka and Bruce Rogers, without disclosing details about what they will do nor the functionality of the two's acquired product.

Facebook has hired Cory Ondrejka, the former chief technical officer of Linden Lab, the company that created Second Life, and also acquired the assets of a startup he cofounded, Walletin.

Walletin’s cofounder, Bruce Rogers, will also join the social network, according to a post on Ondrejka’s blog that Facebook later confirmed in a prepared statement.

Ondrejka had co-founded Second Life while working for Linden Lab from 2000 to 2007. He then became senior vice president of digital strategy for EMI Group, and left in September 2009.

How and where Ondrejka, Rogers and Walletin fit into Facebook remains unclear. Ondrejka’s blog doesn’t disclose what his until-now stealth startup actually does — or did. As of this writing, clicking the link on the word “Walletin” on Ondrejka’s blog has led to a dead link, although that could easily be due to a server overwhelmed by traffic after TechCrunch broke the story.

I could free associate about how Walletin sounds like wallet, such as a digital currency for use in a virtual world; or look at the timing of this announcement and speculate whether there’s a tie-in with Messaging, like Paypal alternative. Or prehaps Ondrejka’s experience at the music company EMI might provide a clue about Walletin. But when the startup’s server comes back up later and we might find out that the startup’s name refers to something entirely different.

While Facebook is certainly doing a lot of hiring and acquiring, the pace of the recruitment jibes with the overall size of the organization. Once you get really big, it takes a lot to maintain your size.

Readers, what do you think the latest hiring and acquisition announcement portends for Facebook development and product launches?