Nov 30, 2022 - Technology

Exclusive: Roblox nabs Apple executive for key engineering role

Roblox VP John Stauffer

John Stauffer. Image: Roblox

Roblox has hired 23-year Apple veteran John Stauffer to oversee the engineering team responsible for the virtual world's core engine, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Roblox has big aspirations for the company, many of which center on making its core engine able to run on as many devices as possible.

Details: Stauffer, who officially starts at Roblox next week, will be a VP of engineering, reporting to CTO Daniel Sturman.

  • Stauffer has spent the past 14 years running Apple's Interactive Media Group, a behind-the-scenes unit that handles a range of multimedia projects across the company, including core work on projects including CarPlay, Group FaceTime and AirPlay.

What they're saying: Sturman told Axios that Roblox started its search for an executive to lead the engine team roughly a year ago.

  • He said they talked to a few hundred people in an effort to find someone that really understood how to balance work across servers and devices and could grow a team that will probably approach 1,000 people in a few years' time.
  • "John got to see Apple grow from a much smaller company," Sturman said. "That’s a path we hope/want/expect to be on."

Stauffer, who has three young kids who all play Roblox, said he was intrigued by the challenge, but said he wasn't really looking for a new gig when Roblox reached out.

  • "It took a little bit to convince me," he said in an interview on Wednesday.
  • His kids, meanwhile, are ecstatic, though Stauffer has been quick to remind them that the new job doesn't mean they will all be getting an endless supply of Robux, the virtual world's in-app currency.

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