Facebook’s 21-Year-Old Wunderkind Heading To Google

Tyrone Berry August 29, 2017
Facebook’s 21-Year-Old Wunderkind Heading To Google

Michael Sayman, the engineering whiz that Facebook hired when he was just 18, is heading to a new job at Alphabet's Google a week after his 21st birthday.

At Facebook, Sayman was a product manager who helped the social media giant understand how his generation uses their phones, giving advice on experimental products for teens and helping executives understand trends.

At Google, he’ll be a product manager for Assistant, a voice-based service built on the search engine’s giant database.

Assistant is said to be one of Google CEO Sundar Pichai's top priorities in a tightly competitive field with Amazon.com's Alexa and Apple Inc's Siri products as the Mountain View, California-based company is working to embed the tool across a range of its own products and on other companies’ devices, facing stiff competition.

Young Whiz

Sayman started as a brace-faced 17-year-old intern for Facebook before the social media site offered him a full-time job. He worked as a product manager and helped Zuckerberg's team of tech wizards better understand how Sayman's generation uses their phones.

The social media giant discovered Sayman, who taught himself to make mobile apps at age 13, because he was using the company’s developer tools for an iPhone application he created.

Ahead of his internship, the company flew him out to meet CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He brought his mom. Sayman was still wearing braces when he became one of Facebook’s youngest employees.

In a Facebook post confirming his departure, Sayman said he taught himself to code by looking up tutorial videos on Google.

“On a personal level, I also see the Assistant as an opportunity for Google to lower the barrier of entry for kids/teens of all ages and backgrounds, to learn how to program -- and encourage them to explore the world of computer science in ways that were once considered impossible,” he wrote.

Sayman noted that Zuckerberg has been an “incredible inspiration” and “absolute pleasure to work with.”

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Tyrone Berry


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