Facebook reportedly hires Apple Maps exec in mobile push

Facebook reportedly hires Apple Maps exec in mobile push

Summary: Social network said to have hired Richard Williamson, the manager behind Apple's hugely criticized mapping product who had left after a management shakeup in November.

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Facebook has reportedly hired Richard Williamson, the manager who led Apple's mapping efforts, and Loren Brichter, a software designer behind Twitter's iPhone app.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two people with knowledge on the hire, Williamson had joined Facebook in the past couple of weeks to be a manager within its expanding mobile software group. The two sources declined to be identified because the information was not public.

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According to the report, Williamson had worked at Apple for more than a decade and was one of the engineers assigned by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to build software for the iPhone. He was later put in charge of the effort to replace Google mapping service for the iPhone and iPad.

Williamson was reportedly fired by Apple in November after the product was criticized for misguided directions and inaccurate landmark locations.

When approached by the newswire, a spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment.

In a separate move, Facebook also hired Brichter, the software designer behind Twitter's original iPhone app and the word puzzle game Letterpress, as a consultant, the two people said. Brichter had also once worked at Apple.

According to the report, several of Apple's iPhone software group members had defected to Facebook with its push to reach users on mobile devices, playing a key role in designing Facebook's recently introduced mobile product Home.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apple, Emerging Tech, IT Employment

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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