Facebook Head of Oculus and VR Hugo Barra Is Leaving

Hugo Barra, who has served as VP of Facebook Reality Labs for the past four years — overseeing the social giant’s Oculus team and its VR and augmented reality development projects — is exiting his post.

Barra announced his departure in a Facebook post Monday, saying May 17 is his last day at the company. He said he plans to “explore the healthcare technology space” in his next venture: “I hope to be able to apply what I’ve learned from working in the consumer tech industry to help solve meaningful problems in the healthcare world.”

Barra joined Facebook in 2017 from Chinese mobile phone upstart Xiaomi, where he was VP of global for a little over two years. Before that, Barra was VP of Android product management at Google, where he was one of the most prominent faces of the search giant’s mobile efforts.

“When Mark Zuckerberg approached me 5 years ago to come to Facebook to lead the Oculus team and work on virtual reality, I knew I was jumping into an ambitious journey to help build the next computing platform but I couldn’t have imagined just how much this team would get done in just a few years,” Barra wrote.

Zuckerberg, in a comment replying to Barra’s post, said, “Thanks for everything you’ve done to help build the next computing platform and the whole ecosystem around it. I’ve learned so much working with you, and I’m excited to see what you build next.”

In his farewell Facebook post, Barra called out “what we accomplished together” with Oculus Go, Oculus Quest and Quest 2. Barra added that “I’m equally excited about what’s yet to come, starting this year with the launch of Facebook’s smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, which will begin connecting the dots from today’s VR headsets to tomorrow’s AR glasses.”

Recently, Facebook Reality Labs researchers released a first look at its latest prototype: a wrist-based controller that uses a combination of artificial intelligence and input from a wearer’s nervous system to interact with VR and AR environments.

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