Pioneer of Virtual Reality Is Departing Meta

Pioneer of Virtual Reality Is Departing Meta

Oculus’ former chief technical officer, John Carmack, is leaving the business after Meta acquired it.

John Carmack
Virtual reality pioneer John Carmack has criticized Meta’s attempts to enter the metaverse.

Pioneer of Virtual Reality Is Departing Meta

According to an internal post examined by The New York Times, John Carmack, a pioneer of virtual reality technology, is departing Meta after more than eight years with the business.

The technologist, Mr. Carmack, 52, attacked his employer in the blog post. He claimed that although Meta has “a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort,” it is operating at “half the effectiveness” and is currently transitioning from a social networking company to one that is focused on the immersive world of the metaverse.

The statement, which was posted on an internal forum this week, stated, “It has been a challenge for me.” “I feel like I should be able to move things since I have a voice at the highest levels here, but I’m obviously not convincing enough,” the speaker said.

Mr. Carmack was one of the most important voices guiding the development of VR headsets as the former chief technology officer of Oculus, the virtual reality company that Facebook acquired for $2 billion in 2014. He continued to work for Facebook after its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, made the decision to change the company’s direction and rebrand it as Meta last year.

Despite the fact that Meta was quickly advancing towards Mr. Carmack’s area of expertise, he occasionally voiced his disapproval of how the project was progressing. He rose to prominence for internal remarks that challenged Mr. Zuckerberg and Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s chief technology officer, for their choices and course of action. In recent years, Mr. Carmack had been doing freelance work for the business.

Spending on the metaverse and the slowing growth of social networking and digital advertising have had a significant negative impact on Meta’s earnings. The Silicon Valley business reported its first sales loss since going public in July. Meta announced last month that it was eliminating 11,000 jobs, or approximately 13 percent of its workforce, in what amounted to the worst layoffs in the history of the business.

In an August podcast interview, Mr. Carmack said he felt “sick to my stomach” about Meta’s $10 billion loss at the time in the division that housed its augmented reality and virtual reality ambitions. He continued by saying that the company’s efforts in the metaverse have been hindered by red tape and plagued by worries about privacy and diversity.

The characteristics of the business’s Quest virtual reality headsets were critiqued by Mr. Carmack in previous posts from this year that The Times was able to access. In his final post, he praised the Quest 2 headset, calling it “nearly precisely what I expected to see from the beginning” in terms of price and portability, but he was still unimpressed with the software.

We created something that was quite similar to The Right Thing, he claimed.

Mr. Carmack’s statement, which announced the end of his ten years in virtual reality, claimed he would concentrate on his own start-up because he had “wearied of the fight.” (He said in August that Keen Technologies, his artificial intelligence company, had raised $20 million.)

No firm is better positioned to achieve that than Meta, he said, adding that “V.R. can deliver value to the majority of people in the globe.”

Before Meta, Mr. Carmack invented several computer graphics techniques that were essential to games he created, like Quake. He started working for Oculus in 2013 as the company’s chief technology officer, and in 2019 he left that position to take on a part-time position.

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