Snapchat, the startup infamous for turning down massive acquisition offers from Facebook and Google, just announced that it has hired one of Google’s top cloud engineers as part of a new push to bolster the fledgling company’s technology talent.
The Wall Street Journal’s Doug MacMillan reports that the company recently hired Robert Magnusson, a Google engineering director responsible for Google App Engine, the cloud platform that Snapchat itself is built on.
This won’t be the only major engineering hire we hear about from Snapchat in the coming months. The company currently has just 15 engineers on staff, but plans to add as many as 50 this year, co-founder Bobby Murphy told the WSJ.
In his piece, MacMillan wrote that Magnusson will be “building technology infrastructure in-house so that the company can begin to lessen its reliance on partners like Google.” Apparently, that wasn’t quite right, as Magnusson quickly wrote up a clarification on his Google+ page (emphasis ours):
Ok for the record, the quote “Part of his new job at Snapchat will be building technology infrastructure in-house so that the company can begin to lessen its reliance on partners like Google, Murphy said.” is (a) not what Bobby said, (b) not really a focus of my job either. Thx WSJ for pissing off all my old Google friends. A more correct statement is that we’ll continuously evaluate alternatives, and likely over time develop more infrastructure ourselves, in particular in specialised areas of our apps. Google is a great partner, and the success of Snapchat would simply not have been possible without Google Cloud, and we expect to work closely together. Period.
Magnusson served as head of the Google App Engine team since 2010.
According to the About page on his blog, he was inspired to join Google’s cloud efforts back in 2009 while writing this blog post about the ill-fated Google Wave, which promised to offer online collaboration that leveraged Google’s massive infrastructure as a platform for end-user software.
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