Image: Figma

Figma, a popular online design tool, has hired Ken Norton, the product veteran who left Google last week after 14 years there, to be Figma's director of product, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Though not well known outside design circles, Figma is part of a growing group of online workplace tools that have carved out a valuable and significant role in contemporary corporate life.

What they're saying: In an interview, Norton and Figma CEO Dylan Field confirmed the hire.

  • Norton said he always assumed he would leave Google for a job that called to him, saying he ended up staying at the company far longer than he expected, most recently in GV, one of its venture capital units.
  • After using Figma for nine months, he said he approached the company about joining.

The big picture: Figma has also seen some novel uses amid the pandemic. Field said it has been used for everything from serving as a remote whiteboard to creating a virtual Silicon Valley to engaging in a little multiplayer Pong.

  • But its main focus is on expanding the use of its product among designers and building a greater community. A new option encourages those using the site to share some of their creations under a Creative Commons license that allows others to make use of and remix the designs.
  • "We think we've got so much more to do on collaboration," Field said.

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