Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, the mind behind the Rift’s initial concept and prototypes, has left Facebook after selling his company to the social network giant three years ago.
This is Palmer’s final official week at Oculus, according to Facebook. In an official statement sent to media, Facebook said the following regarding Luckey’s departure:
“Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.”
It’s unclear if Luckey’s departure from Oculus is voluntary or if he was forced out of the company. Facebook representatives declined to comment to a number of publications requests, citing that the company does not discuss “internal personnel matters.”
While Luckey was initially heralded as the face of modern virtual reality, the 24-year-old quickly fell from grace following various incidents over the last year and has not made many public appearances lately.
Back in September 2016, Luckey Tweeted a Facebook post (his last Tweet from the last six months) apologizing for his financial contribution to Nimble America, an internet group that focused on creating pro-Trump memes. Luckey also made several unflattering posts under the Reddit name ‘NimbleRichman’ that he later publicly disavowed.
Luckey also did not make an appearance at Oculus Connect 3 (OC3) with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, instead taking centre stage at the event’s keynote. His only public appearance of the last few months was in a Dallas courtroom where he testified on the witness stand in a case focused on an intellectual property dispute between Facebook, ZeniMax and legendary programmer John Carmack.
A jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million from Oculus as a result of this legal battle, with $200 million stemming from an NDA violation, $50 million for copyright infringement, $50 million against Luckey for false designation and $150 million against former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe for false designation.
Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014 for $2 billion USD.
Image credit: Wikicommons