Facebook hires Google exec to boost M&A

By Reuters
Posted March 14 at 12:14 p.m.

Facebook has hired a member of Google Inc.’s corporate development team to lead its fledgling merger and acquisition efforts.

Amin Zoufonoun, a director of corporate development at Google, will join the world’s No.1 Internet social network company next week, Facebook confirmed Monday.

The move — the latest development in the rivalry between the Internet powers — comes as Facebook steps up its acquisitions, which¬† have primarily been small startups bought for the engineering talent rather than product.

Zoufonoun, who has worked at Google since 2003, according to a bio on LinkedIn, will report to Facebook’s Vaughan Smith, who oversees the company’s corporate development efforts.

“He’s really going over there to build some professionalism into the team and to hire folks,” said a source familiar with the matter.

“I think they’ll be more active,” on the acquisition front, said the source of Facebook. “They want someone with experience to lead the team. Any growing tech company needs to have a competent M&A.”

Zoufonoun’s move is the latest sign of Facebook’s ambitious expansion plans and underscores the rivalry between the social networking company and Google.

Facebook’s popularity threatens to siphon consumers’ online time and advertising dollars from Google’s Internet search engine.

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