Zoufonoun was a long-serving Google employee, with his LinkedIn profile suggesting that he started in 2003. That fact means Google almost certainly didn’t want to see him go, making this a significant loss for the company.
Nevertheless, this poaching also signals intensifying competition for talent between the two companies, and comes in the wake of Facebook's February hiring of Google’s chief of sales in Latin America.
As Facebook steps up its acquisitions, which to date have made 10 acquisitions, its most to date, including HotPotato and Chai Labs. Most recently, it acquired mobile marketing startup Beluga, primarily it has bought for engineering talent rather than actual products.
More deals are expected this year as the rivalry between Facebook and Google heats up to capture ever larger online audiences and ad market share. Last year, Facebook also hired a real estate executive and a key software engineer from Google's embrace.
"I think for sure over time they expect to do bigger and bigger deals," said a source familiar with the matter.
"They have certainly got the stock and cash to do those kinds of things. So I expect them to be more active."
Zoufonoun, who implemented acquisitions including On2, Grandcentral (Google Voice), Feedburner, and Simplify Media at Google, will begin working at Facebook next week, and will report to Vaughan Smith, who oversees the entire corporate development effort at the social networking giant, according to Reuters.