Google Chrome OS creator takes job at Facebook, announces switch on Twitter

Facebook hires Google Chrome OS engineer Matthew Papakipos

Google's Matthew Papakipos, the engineering director who started and led the project to create the Chrome operating system, has been hired away by Facebook.

Papakipos announced his job change Monday afternoon on Twitter, writing "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!"

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Papakipos, who also worked on the WebGL 3D graphics API for Web browsers, had been with Google since 2007, and previously held jobs at Nvidia and PeakStream.

About 13 hours before announcing his job change publicly, Papakipos tweeted: "I love that in this busy crazy over-connected world I can still keep a secret among friends."

Monday was a busy day in the Facebook-Google rivalry, with Twitter playing a role in two incidents. Earlier, Digg co-founder Kevin Rose fueled a series of news articles and blog posts about Google possibly launching a competitor to Facebook with a tweet that said "Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon 'Google Me', very credible source."  

There's no word yet on what role Papakipos will play at Facebook. Facebook's engineering team has also hired Jocelyn Goldfein, who was vice president and general manager of VMware's Desktop Business Unit.

Papakipos is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and has degrees from both Brown University and Stanford University. According to his online resume, he has filed over 70 patent applications.

"I architect complex computer systems," Papakipos writes. "I've invented and patented a large number of hardware and software algorithms for solving real-world problems. I design systems that are novel, yet practical. I like solving problems that seem impossible to others: making graphics chips programmable (NVIDIA), making browser apps as fast as conventional native apps (NativeClient), making web apps that use graphics hardware (WebGL), creating a new consumer operating system (Chrome OS)."

Chrome OS, which grew out of Google's Chrome Web browser, is a new kind of operating system that puts all the applications into the Web browser, and is designed mainly for netbooks.

"It's all about the web," Papakipos and fellow Google employee Caesar Sengupta wrote in a recent blog post. "All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs."

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