Fb’s Oculus VR chief Hugo Barra is stepping down

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Hugo Barra ran Oculus for greater than two years.


James Martin/CNET

Modifications are taking place on the prime of Fb’s Oculus VR crew.

Hugo Barra, who took over working Oculus VR from founding CEO Brendan Iribe in 2017, mentioned Thursday that he is stepping down as the pinnacle of Oculus simply because the crew is making ready to launch its Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S headsets this month. Barra mentioned subsequent he’ll be serving to to construct AR and VR partnerships for Fb out of New York.

“Time for me to tackle the subsequent large problem — bringing AR and VR to extra individuals!” he wrote in a tweet asserting the transfer.

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CNET’s Scott Stein referred to as Fb’s $399 Oculus Quest, delivery Could 21, one of the best gadget he is tried to this point this 12 months.


Screenshot by Clifford Colby/CNET

Fb mentioned Erick Tseng, a virtually decade-long veteran of Fb, will likely be taking up for Barra. Earlier than working at Fb, Tseng had labored at Google, serving to lead its Android crew. Barra additionally labored at Google, serving to lead the Android group earlier than leaving in 2013 to help in working the Chinese language cellphone maker Xiaomi.

The transfer marks one other shift for Oculus, which was acquired by Fb in 2014 for greater than $2 billion. Since that buy, its unique leaders have left, together with CEO Iribe and its younger headset inventor, Palmer Luckey.

A part of what led to Luckey leaving was a Each day Beast story from 2016 about how he’d helped finance an internet group that put up a billboard earlier than the US presidential election with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s face above the phrases “Too Massive To Jail.” 

A narrative in The Wall Avenue Journal final 12 months, after which a e-book referred to as The Historical past of the Future this 12 months, each reported that Luckey was successfully compelled out over his political exercise. Fb then mentioned personnel issues had been confidential.

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Barra’s shift to AR could point out that Fb’s investments within the expertise are increasing. Two years in the past, the corporate introduced sweeping efforts to convey AR to its apps and companies. Fb has additionally mentioned it is engaged on AR glasses, an space already being popularized by Microsoft’s HoloLens headset and the startup Magic Leap. Apple too is engaged on a tool, planed for subsequent 12 months, sources have advised CNET.

Barra mentioned Fb “is setting an bold plan for delivering AR glasses.”

“As we transfer towards a world the place VR and AR units are mainstream, we might want to considerably develop and put money into the worldwide accomplice ecosystem to make them accessible to everybody,” a Fb spokeswoman mentioned in a press release. “Hugo is the right particular person to guide this effort after overseeing product and international technique for therefore a few years.”

MY NEXT AR/VR CHALLENGE AT FACEBOOK

When Mark approached me a few years in the past to return to Fb to work on…

Posted by Hugo Barra on Thursday, Could 9, 2019

First revealed Could 9 at 12:22 p.m. PT.
Replace, 4:23 p.m. PT: Provides Barra’s expanded assertion.



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