Facebook hires former Apple executive and iOS 6 Maps lead Richard Williamson

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Facebook hires former Apple executive and iOS 6 Maps lead Richard Williamson

Bloomberg reported late on Tuesday that Facebook recently hired former Apple executive Richard Williamson as a manager in its mobile software group.

A 10-year Apple veteran, Williamson previously served as Apple's Director of iOS Software, a fact which serves to explain the hiring given Facebook's aggressive new push in the mobile space.

While at Apple, Williams oversaw the development of Apple's homegrown Maps app, which, if you recall, debuted to much controversy with the release of iOS 6. Williamson was ultimately shown the door this past November when Eddy Cue decided to shake up Apple's Maps team.

As for Facebook becoming a haven for former Apple employees, news of Williamson's hiring came shortly after it was revealed that the social networking giant had lured former Apple engineer and famed Tweetie inventor Loren Brichter into the Facebook mix.

The fact that Brichter is "helping" out at Facebook is particularly noteworthy because he's an iOS developer legend, of sorts. While he may not be a mainstream name outside of the tech world, his original Tweetie app set a new bar for what Twitter clients could and should be, both in terms of usability and aesthetic design. He's also credited with creating, or at the very least popularizing, common app features such as "pull to refresh" and the "cell swipe."

Perhaps fittingly, word of Brichter's new place of employ first surfaced via a tweet from Mike Matas, a user interface designer at Facebook who previously spent four years at Apple working on UI features for a number of Mac and iOS apps.

Bloomberg adds:

Other former Apple employees brought in by Zuckerberg include Greg Novick, a former iPhone manager who helped develop the device's touch interface; Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, software designers who joined when Facebook acquired their company Push Pop Press; and software engineers Scott Goodson, Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay.

With the recent release of Facebook Home, we now have a clearer idea as to why Facebook has been so keen on snatching up companies and individuals with expertise in mobile software design. That said, the fact that a number of former Apple engineers and designer are now making their way over to Facebook isn't all that surprising. If anything, it underscores Facebook's commitment to deliver a grade-A experience in the mobile space, current reviews of Facebook Home notwithstanding.

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