Facebook Snatches Google And DARPA Alum Regina Duncan To Head Hardware Lab

There's quite a bit of poaching that goes on in the highly competitive tech industry, and this time it was Facebook that scored a prize, prying Regina Dugan from Google. Dugan lead the Advanced Technologies and Projects Group at her former employer, and prior to that, she was the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Now Dugan will head up a new hardware group at Facebook called Building 8. The group will focus on breakthrough technologies and innovative products designed to advance Facebook's mission of "connecting the world." In particular, Dugan and Building 8 fit into Facebook's 10-year roadmap announced at its F8 developer conference. The roadmap is focused on making advances in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity, and other areas.

Regina Dugan

"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," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

Dugan described her transition from Google to Facebook as "bittersweet," noting that she's "tremendously excited" about Building 8 and how much there is to build at the world's largest social network, but also "sad to leave" her former co-workers. Her parting message to them was to "make some epic sh*t."

Building 8 will do the same under the guidance of Dugan and resources of Facebook. Zuckerberg said his outfit will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Building 8 over the next few years, so one thing Dugan won't have to worry about is funding.