3/18/13

Facebook acquires a web design firm

And the social network names a new chief technology officer.

Zak Stambor , Managing Editor

Facebook Inc. has acquired Hot Studio, a web design firm with offices in San Francisco and New York that says it has worked with online retailers such as Gilt Groupe Inc. and Art.com Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The social network says it plans to incorporate the firm’s staff—which, according to its LinkedIn page, totals 124 employees—into its product design, communication design, research, engineering and content strategy teams.

Both Facebook and Hot Studio say that in working together on a few undisclosed projects they discovered that they shared similar collaborative, creative work environments focused on creating “meaningful experiences for consumers around the world.”

“Immediately we recognized the synergy between our teams and their remarkable talents,” wrote Margaret Stewart, Facebook’s director of design, in a blog post Thursday. “They have an intricate understanding of what businesses need and a flair for building tools and resources to help meet those needs. And this is what we’re bringing them here to do—build amazing tools that help the brands and businesses that use Facebook.”

The social network has also promoted vice president of engineering Mike Schroepfer to chief technology officer. The position had been vacant since Bret Taylor left the social network last summer, shortly after its initial public offering.

Facebook says Schroepfer is tasked with building products, services and infrastructure that support the social network’s more than 1 billion users. "Mike Schroepfer's new designation as Facebook's CTO reflects the unique and important role he plays across the company,” says a Facebook spokeswoman.

Schroepfer had been in his previous role at Facebook since 2008. Prior to joining the social network he was vice president of engineering at Mozilla Corp., the nonprofit organization that maintains the Firefox browser, from 2005 to 2008, according to his Facebook page. He has also worked as chief technology officer for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s data center automation division.

Gilt Groupe is No. 49 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and Art.com is No. 117.

Topics:

Art.com, Bret Taylor, chief technology officer, e-commerce acquisition, Facebook, Gilt, Hot Studio, Margaret Stewart, merchandising and design, Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla, NewsMakers, social media, Top 500, web only retailers

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