San Francisco 49ers Appoint Facebook’s Kunal Malik as Chief Technology Officer

By Community | March 6, 2012

The San Francisco 49ers continued their foray in acquiring Facebook personnel by appointing Kunal Malik, a tech veteran who started Facebook Inc.’s  IT department, their new chief technology officer, a newly created position.

Malik will oversee tech efforts for the club and the planned stadium in Santa Clara. He is expected to start on May 1.

Gideon Yu, the 49ers’ newly appointed president and a former chief financial officer at Facebook — said the team set “very high goals for what we want the Santa Clara stadium to be in terms of innovation, technology and user experience.”

“In my opinion, there is nobody better qualified for this role, and I am excited to partner with Kunal again,” Yu said in a prepared statement.

Malik founded Facebook’s information technology department in 2007 and spent the past five years building that group. According to the 49ers, he has more than 15 years of tech experience in “senior leadership roles.”

He has worked for the Buffalo, N.Y., police department, using technology to improve officers’ response times. He has also worked for Exodus Communications Inc. , a Santa Clara Web-hosting firm that collapsed a decade ago during the dot-com meltdown and was sold through bankruptcy court, and Wind River Systems Inc. , a software company acquired in 2009 by Santa Clara semiconductor giant Intel Corp.

The 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara is expected to cost $1.02 billion and open in time for the 2014 National Football League season. The 68,500-seat facility would be built on Tasman Drive, near California’s Great America theme park and the 49ers’ training facility.

by Ismail Uddin