Google and Facebook are both racing to bring Internet access to developing countries around the world and the two tech titans aren’t pulling any punches. Earlier this year Google bought a drone company Facebook was reportedly in the process of acquiring, and now it looks like the social networking giant may have swiped a key employee from the rival firm’s satellite program.
Michael Tseytlin left his position at Google earlier this month to take a new job as director of engineering for Facebook, confirming the move with an update to his LinkedIn profile. According to The Wall Street Journal, Tseytlin will focus on the social network’s satellite technology inside the firm’s Connectivity Lab. Tseytlin previously worked on Google’s satellite programs alongside Greg Wyler, who recently left the company to launch his own startup WorldVu Satellites.
Facebook’s Connectivity Lab is focused entirely on delivering Internet access to uncovered parts of the world through satellites and drones in partnership with Internet.org. It’s likely Tseytlin will help the company drive forward with those initiatives and he’ll be particularly valuable if he can help Facebook beat Google to the punch.