If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of encountering the unstoppable technological force of nature that is Regina Dugan then you’ve come to the right place.
Dugan is the former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – also known as the place where the Department of Defense creates technologies straight out of science fiction. Since departing DARPA, Dugan continued pushing the limits of possibility by taking the top job at Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects lab. Now, Dugan is stepping down from Google to bring her innovative expertise to another Silicon Valley giant: Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself helped to break the news this morning via an update to his own Facebook account:
“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.”
The reasoning behind Facebook’s poaching of such a high profile tech executive was also outlined by Zuckerberg in his 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.
For those that aren’t aware, Facebook’s famous Menlo Park campus is divided into different buildings, each dedicated to unique aspects of the company. There is, however, no building 8 on the premises. The naming of this new team is therefore most likely a nod toward Facebook’s desire to create something new and undefined through Dugan and the team she will lead.
That team, according to Zuckerberg, will be provided with significant resources to empower Dugan to act ambitiously in her new position:
“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.”
In addition to her years as a researcher and leader for these enormoous institutions, Dugan is also a well known public speaker whose TED talk on technology innovation went viral:
Dugan’s hiring is effective immediately. We will bring you more news about her role with Facebook, and what the mysterious Building 8 is working on, as information becomes available.