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Former Oculus Head of Mobile VR Max Cohen Leaves Facebook

Early Oculus staffer Max Cohen, who at one point led mobile product for the VR unit, has left Facebook this week, Variety has learned. Cohen’s departure is just the latest staff defection for Facebook’s VR team, which recently also lost its head of VR product, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

Cohen joined Oculus in February of 2014, weeks before the VR startup was snatched up by Facebook for $2 billion. At the company, he led the Gear VR program in partnership with Samsung, and later led development of the Oculus Go and started the Oculus Quest program, according to his Linkedin profile. More recently, he had been heading up product management for media for the Facebook AR/VR team.

Cohen is one of a number of early Oculus staffers to leave the company in recent months. Most notable was the departure of Mitchell, was the last of the original 4 Oculus co-founders to leave Facebook.

However, Facebook’s VR team has also seen some more recent staffers depart. Just last week, Facebook’s head of VR software engineering Bruno Silva announced that he was leaving the company. Silva had joined Oculus in early 2018, and previously worked for over 6 years at Microsoft on the company’s Hololens AR headset.

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The departures come as Facebook’s VR team has undergone multiple restructures, which involved aligning the unit more closely with its corporate mothership. In May, the company assigned former Oculus head Hugo Barra to a new role that has him striking deals with outside partners. Jason Rubin, who had been leading Oculus content teams, has since been working on gaming partnerships beyond VR.

Facebook is set to outline its plans for immersive media at the Oculus Connect developer conference in San Jose next month. In addition to the traditional focus on VR, the company is expected to put a bigger emphasis on augmented reality at the event.

Update: This post has been updated with further details on Cohen’s job at Facebook.

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