Mitchell wrote in a Reddit post that he’ll be spending time with family and travelling, and that while he’ll still be involved in the virtual reality community, he will play a “much smaller” role. (The Logic)
Talking point: Mitchell’s departure leaves Facebook without any of the founders from its three largest acquisitions: Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for US$2.3 billion. Since then, its co-founders have mostly been subsumed into Facebook’s larger organizational structure. Brendan Iribe, former CEO of Oculus, left Facebook in 2018 over disputes about the direction of the VR headsets. At the time of acquisition, Oculus was focused on PC gaming. Now, Facebook is focusing on social experiences, video and standalone headsets. Both Mitchell and the company are presenting his departure as collegial. Andrew Bosworth, who runs AR and VR for Facebook and was Mitchell’s boss, wrote in a comment on Facebook, “Sad to see you leave Nate,” adding, “I enjoyed working with you and learning from you.” Multiple Facebook executives had similar kind words for Iribe when he departed.