×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oculus CTO John Carmack to Step Down

One of the driving forces behind Facebook’s virtual reality efforts is leaving his post: Oculus CTO John Carmack announced Wednesday afternoon that he was transitioning to a “consulting CTO” role this week, and devote most of his time to new challenges outside of the company.

“I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time,” Carmack wrote in a Facebook post.

“I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence,” he added about his future plans, while making clear that this work wouldn’t be part of Facebook. “For the time being at least, I am going to be going about it ‘Victorian Gentleman Scientist’ style, pursuing my inquiries from home, and drafting my son into the work,” Carmack wrote.

Facebook’s VR unit acknowledged the move in a tweet, saying that the company was glad Carmack was “still on board.”

A Facebook spokesperson also told Variety that Carmack would remain a Facebook employee:

“The nature of his work at Facebook will remain the same and he will pursue a number of projects. He will continue to advise us on strategy and technical feasibility through building proofs of concept, and as always, advocating for our users. For example, he will continue working on projects that maximize visual quality within a limited mobile compute budget.”

Popular on Variety

Carmack had joined Oculus in 2013 as its CTO, and stayed on after Facebook acquired the VR startup for $2 billion the following year. He’s had an outsized influence on the VR space, driving both practical implementations for devices like Samsung’s Gear VR and the Oculus Quest as well as next-generation advancements. His annual Oculus Connect keynote talks about advancements in VR have long been a key barometer for technical achievements and future challenges for the industry.

Carmack’s announcement comes three months after Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell revealed that he was leaving Facebook, and it marks just the latest high-profile executive change for the company’s VR unit. 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.

More Digital

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

  • Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump Reportedly Set to Speak at CES 2020

    Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and an adviser to the president, is scheduled to appear on a panel at CES 2020 in January, according to a published report. Ivanka Trump will appear on a panel set for Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas confab with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content