Hugo Barra, Facebook’s former VP of VR, is leaving the company.
Barra announced the news via a Facebook post this week. The post doesn’t explicitly explain the reason for his departure, though Barra does mention that he’s instead moving into the healthcare technology space.
Barra was hired as Facebook’s VP VR in 2017, shortly after Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe stepped down, though his role was later defined as VP AR/VR Product. In his early years, he oversaw the launch of both the Oculus Go and Quest headsets. In 2018, Facebook announced a partnership with Barra’s former employer, Xiaomi, to launch a headset based on the Oculus Go in the Chinese market, though the team disbanded around a year later.
Then, in 2019, we reported that Barra had moved to lead “global AR/VR partnerships”. In fact, in his own Facebook post, he mentions the Facebook smart glasses, due later this year, that have been made in partnership with Ray-Ban and will, in his words, “begin connecting the dots from today’s VR headsets to tomorrow’s AR glasses.”
“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 said of his departure. “Looking forward to sharing more soon!”
Facebook’s core VR leadership remains in place – Andrew Bosworth is still VP AR/VR and reports to CTO, Mike Schroepfer, who himself reports to Mark Zuckerberg.