It looks like Facebook is shaking up Oculus and reassigning some of its top executives to new positions within the parent company, notably affecting head of content Jason Rubin and Oculus leader Hugo Barra.
Both Rubin and Barra announced their new roles today via Twitter.
Rubin will be succeeded by Michael Verdu, who was most recently a senior VP at Electronic Arts and executive at gaming studio Kabam. Rubin will be heading on to the role VP of “special gaming initiatives,” where he will work on “positively impacting game communities.” Rubin says he’ll continue to work with Verdu in his new role, bringing better content to VR.
Previously head of Oculus and also considered VP of VR at Facebook, Hugo Barra is heading onto the role of VP of AR/VR partnerships at Facebook. Barra says via Twitter that with Quest shipping on May 21st, the first-gen VR lineup is now complete, and that his next mission is to bring AR and VR to more people.
Taking a new role @facebook building a global AR/VR partner ecosystem based in NYC, after 2+ amazing years leading the @oculus team. With Quest shipping 5/21, our first-gen VR lineup is now complete.Time for me to take on the next big challenge—bringing AR and VR to more people!
— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) May 9, 2019
Barra is to be succeeded by Erick Tseng, who was previously Facebook’s director of product management.
Is it all a bit confusing? Well, that’s because in previous years Oculus was considered more of an independent actor, with its own CEO (Barra) who replaced co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe, however it seems in the following years Oculus has become less of an independent subsidiary and more of an in-house VR group with little to separate the two companies now.
Conversely, it also seems Facebook has elevated the importance of AR in the last year, and that’s primarily reflected in the executives’ new positions within the company as well as a host of new AR job opening, decidedly pointing to a Facebook-built AR headset on the rise.