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Facebook likes Rich Heley, former Tesla veep

Head-hunted into the Building 8 skunkworks

By Richard Chirgwin, 8 Jul 2016

Facebook has head-hunted one of Tesla's prize head-hunts: Rich Heley, which the 'leccy car maker lured from Apple back in December 2013.

At Apple, Heley worked on design, manufacturing techniques and supply chain, which made him a good fit for what Elon Musk needed.

Facebook's now snared Heley into its hardware design operation, known as Building 8. The skunkworks was launched in April under the aegis of ex-Googler Regina Dugan.

The former veep of product technology at Tesla will be joining an effort that Mark Zuckerberg wants pump-prime with hundreds of millions of dollars over time.

The Social NetworkTM has been getting increasingly interested in hardware over the last couple of years, with open-source designs for servers, switches, and most recently a cellular base station. The ad-farm also bough VR maker Oculus Rift.

The lab has a ten-year roadmap covering virtual / augmented reality, AI and connectivity, and while Zuck wraps it in joy-to-the-world mission statements it's not hard to note that connectivity helps it serve pages to more people, faster; while AI is vital to flogging the ads that pay for it all.

Facebook might be an easier life to live than Tesla: the company has long found it hard to meet its production targets, and in its most recent financials, said 2,000 cars are rolling out of the factory each week. The target for this period was 2,400 per week. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing