Facebook Recruits Apple “Software And Hardware” UI Leader Chris Weeldreyer To Its (Smartphone?) Mobile Product Team


Facebook is finally working closely with Apple — on iOS 6 — but it’s also hiring away some of its design talent. The latest is Chris Weeldreyer, who has just left his position as a user interface design manager to become a product design manager at the social network.

What will Weeldreyer be working on? “We’re excited to welcome Chris Weeldryer to Facebook, where he will be a great addition to our growing design team,” Facebook tells us. But we’ve also learned from a source close to the company that he’ll be working on its mobile products.

Another interesting clue is the description in his LinkedIn bio, where he describes himself as a ”[p]roduct designer with experience in both hardware and software product development.” That’s more than eight years of experience… right when Facebook is recruiting hard for a renewed smartphone hardware effort.

Here’s some more detail about that, from Nick Bilton at The New York Times in late May:

One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he had met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones. It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said; Mr. Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used, he said. Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.


Facebook is going to great lengths to keep the phone project a secret, specifically not posting job listings on the company’s job Web site, but instead going door-to-door to find the right talent for the project. 

There was no open position that Weeldreyer is filling, as Inside Facebook noted when it first spotted the hire yesterday.

Whether or not Weeldreyer is part of some smartphone skunkworks project, he’s also not the first Apple design-side person to go over to Facebook recently. There are only 89 former Apple folks at Facebook, according to available LinkedIn data, but another one of them is Sharon Hwang, who went from being a senior art director to a product designer in March.

The overall sense is that Facebook is trying hard to polish the rough edges of its products, and continues to be attractive enough as a workplace that it can get world-class talent.


Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 845 million monthly active users.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks.

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