Brendan Iribe, co-founder and former CEO of Oculus, is leaving Facebook’s virtual reality arm, marking another key founder departure from a business acquired by the social giant.
Iribe announced his departure in a Facebook post Monday but didn’t give a specific reason for his decision. He did note that this time will be “the first real break that I’ve taken in over 20 years,” and that “it’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative.”
A number of high profile executives, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, CTO Mike Schroepfer and Vice President of Virtual Reality Hugo Barra, commented on Iribe’s post.
Iribe co-founded Oculus and helped launch the company in 2012 alongside Palmer Luckey, Nate Mitchell, Michael Antonov and Andrew Scott Reisse. He served as its CEO through the acquisition by Facebook, and was most recently the vice president of computer-tethered virtual reality, according to Bloomberg. Luckey, the inventor of the Oculus Rift headset, left in 2017.
Iribe’s decision to leave Facebook comes on the heels of the announced departures of Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger last month and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum earlier this year. Facebook acquired both Oculus and WhatsApp in 2014 for $3 billion and $22 billion respectively. It bought Instagram for $715 million in 2012.
Oculus has grown rapidly in the Seattle area, primarily its research arm, which was recently renamed Facebook Reality Labs. It has been on a hiring spree for the last year, with more job postings in its Redmond, Wash. offices than any other locations, including the HQ in Menlo Park, Calif.
Facebook has been scooping up real estate for Oculus’ growing Seattle-area work. And some of its key personnel, such as Chief Scientist Michael Abrash, are based in the Seattle region.