Facebook Picks Up Veterans of Second Life-Maker Linden Lab in Talent Acquisition of MailRank

Facebook picks up two veterans of Second Life-maker Linden Lab today in announcing a talent acquisition of MailRank today. Given the background of MailRank’s co-founders, we would bet that Facebook’s director of engineering Cory Ondrejka, who was Linden Lab’s chief technology officer, had a hand in sourcing or facilitating this deal. (He also was acquired in to help lead Facebook’s HTML5 efforts last fall.)

With the acquisition, Facebook gets two former directors of engineering at Linden Lab: Bethanye McKinney Blount and Bryan O’Sullivan. We don’t have any details about what the pair will be working on at Facebook.

Before starting MailRank, Blount was a vice president of software engineering at EMI Music. Her co-founder and chief technology officer O’Sullivan was also an engineering director at Linden Lab and also has been a visiting lecturer at Stanford University on Haskell.

He specializes in functional programming and scalable systems and built several open-source libraries including aeson (which is JSON for Haskell) and pronk, which is a framework for load testing web services.

MailRank announced the acquisition on its blog:

We’re thrilled to announce that MailRank’s co-founders will be joining Facebook in December!

We started MailRank to focus on the email that matters, combining powerful technology with a simple interface. It’s been rewarding to build a solution to problems people face every day. At Facebook, we’ll be working with a first-class team on our favorite types of technology problems while supporting a great product people use every day.

We’ll be discontinuing the private beta of MailRank for Outlook to focus on our new jobs. Bryan has posted information about MailRank’s open source technologies on our engineering blog.

The past year has been a wonderful journey, and we thank everyone who has helped and supported us along the way: our test users, investors, advisors, friends, and families. You have our sincerest gratitude.

Now off to a new adventure!

~~ The MailRank Team