Facebook had already set up a group within the company to “explore” blockchain technology, headed by long time Messenger chief David Marcus. This latest executive reshuffle indicates that Facebook is getting more serious about developing on top of blockchain technology.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Evan Cheng, a director of engineering at Facebook, has moved to the position of Director of Engineering, Blockchain. A well-respected “low level” computer engineer, he was previously responsible for heading up Programming Languages & Runtimes at the company, a position he held for nearly three years.
Prior to that, Cheng spent nearly ten years working at Apple, most recently holding the position of Senior Manager, Low Level Tools. He also worked on compilation technology and other back end engineering.
He also tweets about blockchain and is reportedly an advisor to a number of blockchain startups/projects, including Zilliqa and ChainLink.
“It means it’s not just an exploratory project,” is how one source who tracks the blockchain space speculatively framed Cheng’s move to Facebook’s blockchain team. His reasoning was that in recruiting Cheng (who knows more than a thing or two about performance and scalability) to the blockchain group, it signals the importance of the project.
Meanwhile, Marcus and Cheng aren’t the only Facebook executives to have been tasked with building out the social network’s burgeoning blockchain work.