Co-founder and former CEO of Oculus Brendan Iribe has announced that he will be departing Facebook today.
Iribe was reportedly leading work on the Rift 2, the next generation of virtual reality headsets that was cancelled last week due to internal company changes. This departure comes from that cancellation as well as having different views on the future of Oculus with parent company Facebook, which bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. Iribe had stepped down as CEO in 2016 in order to lead “a new team devoted to development and creating new virtual reality experiences/titles within Oculus“.
In an update to TechCrunch’s original story they received a response from a Facebook spokesperson who did not deny that the Rift 2 was cancelled but did affirm that they are “planning for a future version of Rift.” Oculus has recently announced a new Oculus Quest unit that does not require a PC and will be launching for $399 in Spring 2019. You can read Iribe’s Facebook post about his departure below.
So much has happened since the day we founded Oculus in July 2012. I never could have imagined how much we would accomplish and how far we would come. And now, after six incredible years, I am moving on.
I’m deeply proud and grateful for all that we’ve done together. We assembled one of the greatest research and engineering teams in history, delivered the first step of true virtual presence with Oculus Rift and Touch, and inspired an entirely new industry. We started a revolution that will change the world in ways we can’t even envision.
Yet, as far as we’ve come, the journey has just begun. Michael Abrash is right: “These are the good old days”. Now is when we get to pioneer the foundation of the next great computing platform and medium – this is our time to be pushing the state-of-the-art onward and upward. Every part of VR and AR needs to improve, especially the hardware and core technology, and Oculus has the best team in the world to do that. Although we’re still far from delivering the magical smart glasses we all dream about, now they are nearly within our reach.
Working alongside so many talented people at Oculus and Facebook has been the most transformative experience of my career. We have a saying when someone compliments or thanks you – “Team effort”. The success of Oculus was only possible because of such an extraordinary team effort. I’d like to sincerely thank everyone that’s been a part of this amazing journey, especially Mark for believing in this team and the future of VR and AR.
As for me, this will be the first real break I’ve taken in over 20 years. It’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative. I’m excited for the next chapter.