Iribe Exits Facebook, 4 Years After Oculus Acquisition

Facebook is losing Brendan Iribe, cofounder-former CEO of Oculus, four years after it spent $2 billion to acquire the virtual-reality firm.

“This will be the first real break I’ve taken in over 20 years,” Iribe notes in new a post. “It’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative … I’m excited for the next chapter.”

Regarding his next chapter, Iribe didn’t offer specifics on Monday.

Iribe had only nice things to say about Facebook management in his post, but sources tell TechCrunch that he was frustrated with their decision to cancel the next generation “Rift 2” PC-powered virtual reality headset. Iribe had been spearheading the project.

In public and in private, Facebook has earned a reputation for clashing with the leaders of companies it acquires.

Earlier this year, tensions between Facebook and WhatsApp’s founders were on full display when Brian Acton encouraged the world to delete their Facebook accounts. “It is time,” Acton tweeted. “#deletefacebook”

More recently, Acton toldForbes that he regretted ever selling his startup to Facebook because the company places too high a value on monetizing its membership.

Last month, upon the news that Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were leaving the company, sources told The New York Times that internal disagreements contributed their decision.

Facebook’s latest virtual reality headset, the Oculus Quest, is set to hit shelves next spring for $399.

The standalone VR device will be the first wireless Oculus hardware to include positional tracking -- for the headset and its hand controllers. Despite significant investments, virtual reality has yet to take off among the broader consumer population.

Over the past year, worldwide shipments of VR headsets are down 34%, according to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC). Among other issues, most consumers have yet to test out the newest VR technology, according to Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst for IDC.

“One of the major issues with the VR market is that consumers still find it difficult to try a VR headset,” he notes in the report.

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