Facebook acqui-hires the team at design firm Teehan+Lax

Key members of Teehan+Lax, including its co-founders, will be joining the Facebook Design team

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 16, 2015
Short URL:

(Updated with comment from Facebook)

Facebook's transition to being a mobile company has manifested itself into something really interesting: a series of  stand-alone apps, pretty much designed to take over all of the functions of your phone. Those apps, though, don't just come from nowhere. And, of course they have to be visually appealing to get people to use them. That's just common sense.

The company has billions of dollars, so what better way to spend it that than to just hire a well-known design team to make its apps look pretty?

And so that is exactly what Facebook has done, hiring key members of Toronto-based design firm Teehan+Lax, who will be joining the team at Facebook Design, it was revealed in a lengthy blog post on the company's homepage Friday. That includes founders Jon Lax and Geoff Teehan, as well as Partner Dave Gillis.

The team will be moving to the San Francisco Bay Area "in a few weeks," and that means that Teehan+Lax will be shutting down operations.

Teehan+Lax explained the decision to come work at Facebook, saying that "it really came down to the professional opportunity."

"The opportunity to work on interesting and meaningful problems at such scale is very compelling. This may seem like a contradiction given our struggles with trying to scale Teehan+Lax. But scaling a services business and working on design problems and teams at scale are very different challenges. The former wasn’t interesting to us but the latter is very appealing," it wrote.

"The actual act of making the decision was something new, and very personal, for each of us."

It is important to note that, according to Teehan+Lax, it was "ultimately not acquired by Facebook," but that it  was actually a blog post by Evan Williams about knowing when to sell that "helped us, and key members of our company, make the decision to join Facebook." 

Founded in 2002, Teehan+Lax calls itself a "boutique digital experience agency," that creates iPhone apps and websites. It has worked with such sites as Bell, Medium, The Globe and Mail and even Facebook’s own Atlas, which was instrumental in bringing the two sides together. 

"Teehan+Lax is a world-class design agency that supports the creation of digital products for web and mobile, focused on the user experience," Facebook Design wrote in a Facebook post"Working with the team on the Atlas project showed us just how talented and committed they are so we decided to bring them onboard."

“Teehan+Lax designs best in class experiences for both mobile and web. We’re excited to welcome key members of the Teehan+Lax team to Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told VatorNews, while declining to reveal any further details of the deal.

Facebook has made two acquisitions so far in  2015:, an API for building voice-activated interfaces, and video infrastructure company QuickFire Networks.

(Image source:

Related news