Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Departs Facebook As Rift 2 Reportedly Gets Cancelled

By Annie Baker ● October 23, 2018

Brendan Iribe, the co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, has announced his departure from Facebook earlier this week. And rumor has it that his departure has to do with Facebook’s decision to cancel the second-generation Rift virtual reality headset, according to TechCrunch.

Iribe announced the decision to depart from Facebook earlier this week. In the departure note, Iribe applauded the Oculus team. And he said that the journey has just begun despite how far the company has come.

“Now is when we get to pioneer the foundation of the next great computing platform and medium – this is our time to be pushing the state-of-the-art onward and upward,” said Iribe. “Every part of VR and AR needs to improve, especially the hardware and core technology, and Oculus has the best team in the world to do that. Although we’re still far from delivering the magical smart glasses we all dream about, now they are nearly within our reach.”

TechCrunch’s sources said that Iribe had different views on Oculus’ future. And he did not have an interest in a “race to the bottom in terms of performance.” At Facebook’s recent VC developer conference called the Oculus Connect 5, Oculus showcased the $399 Oculus Quest.

The Quest does not require wires or a high-end PC connection. It actually uses a Snapdragon 835 processor, which is similar to what is used in smartphones. Apparently, Iribe had more of an interest in the higher-end Oculus Rift 2 instead of the Oculus Quest and Oculus Go headsets.

But a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the work Iribe’s team has been working on will manifest in future products. “While we can’t comment on our product roadmap specifics, we do have future plans, and can confirm that we are planning for a future version of Rift,” said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to TechCrunch.

Facebook acquired Oculus for about $2 billion in March 2014. This was only one month after Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. And Iribe is not the only high-profile exit that Facebook has seen in recent months. All of the WhatsApp and Instagram founders decided to step down from Facebook this year.