Veteran Facebook exec Andrew “Boz” Bosworth is taking over consumer hardware efforts at the company, including projects under groups like Building 8 and Oculus. The announcement was made internally by Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, Business Insider reports.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the appointment to TechCrunch.
Bosworth, who joined Facebook in January of 2006, has been instrumental to a number of core product features, including perhaps most notably, the News Feed. He has most recently served as the company’s VP of ads and business platform.
Long-time Facebook ads engineering head Mark Rabkin will be taking over Bosworth’s ad responsibilities as he shifts to hardware.
This move comes following a number of leaks which have detailed some of the efforts being made to move the internet company into consumer hardware products, including a video chat device and a dedicated smart speaker.
The new report sheds some light on the video chat device specifically, codenamed “Aloha,” which will reportedly feature a large touch screen and function similarly to Amazon’s Echo Show. The device may use facial detection to recognize people participating in video calls and will reportedly cost around $499, though pricing has not been finalized. The company may also be working on its own consumer 360-degree camera as well as a “necklace embedded with sensors” according to the report. Oculus, which sells virtual reality hardware and is currently working on augmented reality products, will also be under Bosworth jurisdiction.
“We are excited about our long-term investments in virtual reality, augmented reality, and consumer hardware,” a company spokesperson said in a statement given to TechCrunch. “We believe these new technologies have the potential to bring the world closer together in entirely new ways, and we’ve built great teams with strong leadership in each of these areas. Bringing these teams closer together will help us move even faster as we continue to invest in our 10-year roadmap.”
BI’s report notes that Facebook’s ex-Xiaomi VP or VR Hugo Barra and Building 8’s ex-DARPA Regina Dugan will both report to Bosworth.