Brendan Iribe, a co-founder of virtual reality startup Oculus, has left Facebook, which acquired the company in 2012. He’s the sixth founder of a high-profile acquisition to exit Facebook in the last two years, following the founders of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Iribe’s co-founder Palmer Luckey. It’s also been two years since Oculus’ last major launch, the Oculus Rift headset.
TechCrunch, which first reported the news, writes that he leaves after the Rift 2, a highly-anticipated update to the original product, was cancelled last week. Iribe is said to have been leading the project. Facebook later said it is planning a future version of the Rift.
Since the Rift launched in 2016, Facebook has released Oculus Go, a cheaper VR headset, and is planning to launch a third device, Oculus Quest, next spring. The headsets haven’t really lived up to the hype generated by Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has high hopes for his company’s success in VR.
Iribe wrote in a Facebook post that he was “deeply grateful” for his time with Oculus and Facebook, and thanked Zuckerberg. “We started a revolution that will change the world in ways we can’t even envision.” TechCrunch’s sources suggest that he disagreed with the vision for the future of Oculus, which aligns with reports from the departures of the founders of WhatsApp and Instagram. Recently, Luckey, another founder of Oculus, said it wasn’t his choice to leave Facebook.
A third co-founder, Nate Mitchell, will remain at Facebook, and tried to mitigate the situation: