Google loses ChromeOS leader to Facebook

June 28, 2010: 5:50 PM ET

The head of the Chrome OS announces his departure in a Tweet.

Matthew Papakipos today tweeted, "Now that Chrome OS & WebGL are in good shape, it's time for something new. I'm going to work @ Facebook! Love the product and team. Woot!", thus ending his just over three years at Google where he had a pretty impressive array of responsibilities.  According to his LinkedIn profile (which hasn't been upgraded yet with the news), he:

  • Started and managed the Chrome OS project.
  • Manage Chrome user interface team.
  • Managed Chrome HTML5 apis.
  • Started and manage GPU-accelerated 3d APIs for Chrome: O3D, WebGL, etc.
  • Started the NativeClient project: Native C++ code for web apps.

What he's going to be doing at Facebook is anyone's guess.  His background is in web graphics programming which should fit well with the Social Networking site as it strives to become more interactive and available on more devices.

The timing is strange however, with Google's ChromeOS mere months away.  Google's braintrust has been heading to Facebook in rather significant numbers lately.  Google made an effort to avert fears that the Papakipos's departure would hurt Chrome's chances of rolling out on time and on spec in the following statement:

Matt made great contributions to Google and Chrome OS, and we know he'll do the same in his next endeavors. We wish him the best. We have a deep bench of talent and are very excited about the launch of Chrome OS devices later this year.

Facebook also said in a comment on the matter:

Matthew Papakipos has indeed joined Facebook. Matthew is an accomplished entrepreneur and engineer, and it's wonderful that he has decided to bring his considerable talents to Facebook's world-class engineering team.

Google currently lists Linus Upson as a vice president of engineering overseeing Google's browser products including Chrome and Chrome OS.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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