Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is leaving Facebook 7 years after launching the first Oculus Rift headset with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Mitchell announced the move on Reddit Tuesday, calling it “bittersweet news.” Mitchell said that he would take some time off to spend with his family. And while he committed to still being involved in VR, he cautioned that he would have “a much smaller role to play.”
Mitchell was one of the original founders of Oculus, and most recently served as head of VR product at Facebook. He reported to Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who has been leading Facebook’s AR and VR efforts. “Sad to see you leave Nate,” Boswroth wrote in a comment on Facebook. “I enjoyed working with you and learning from you. Best of luck on whatever comes next.”
Virtual reality is still on the bleeding edge of technology, and this community continues to pioneer the way forward,” Mitchell wrote. “What’s ahead is always unknown, and that’s what makes it exciting. Stay bold and keep chasing the future.”
“I expect the incredible team at Facebook to continue to surprise and delight us on this mission to build the next computing platform,” he added. “I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
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Mitchell was the last of Oculus’ original founders to leave Facebook. Palmer Luckey, who developed the first Oculus Rift prototype, was forced out in early 2017 following the revelation of his financial support of a far-right group. Longtime Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe left the company in October of 2018.
The Information was first to report Mitchell’s departure Tuesday morning.