Mike Isaac

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Square Poaches Another Facebook Ads Team Member for Data Science Post

RongYanRong Yan, a Facebook engineering manager on the ads team for the past four years, has joined commerce company Square to become the startup’s data science Lead, according to recent changes on his online bio page.

Square confirmed the move to AllThingsD.

In his new position, Yan will be responsible for handling large-scale data analysis at Square, making sense and gleaning insights from the information the company takes in.

In a way, it’s similar to his old position at Facebook on the ad relevance team where, according to his LinkedIn profile, he was responsible for “[optimizing] ads relevance by understanding what users and advertisers value, and by maintaining data and ranking quality for all Facebook ads.”

Basically, making sense of a lot of information and putting it to good use inside the company.

Previous to his time at Facebook, Yan spent three years as a researcher at IBM, and before that earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Yan’s hiring is another in a string of recent poaches by Square, as the payments company recently hired former Facebook ad product director Gokul Rajaram to lead software development on Square Register, among other products.

Square also plucked high-ranking Googler Francoise Brougher from the search giant recently, chosen to become Square’s business lead to handle international expansion and biz-dev partnerships. And just this month, former Mozilla Director of Engineering Ben Adida joined Square as a technical team lead (though the details of his job are “under wraps for now,” according to his LinkedIn profile).

Facebook declined to comment.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work