Magic Leap pivoted to the enterprise space recently after an extended lukewarm reception by consumers for its $2,300 AR headset. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, company founder and CEO Rony Abovitz then announced layoffs last month that were slated to occur at “every level” of the company. Although those layoffs were allayed by a fresh $350 million funding round at zero hour, Abovitz now says he’s stepping down as CEO.

Abovitz released a statement on the Magic Leap blog explaining the move, saying that a change in his role was “a natural next step” to bringing about the next phase of the company.

“I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon,” Abovitz says.

Abovitz is set to remain as CEO until a new one is confirmed. There’s no word on what role the founder will fill afterwards, however he says it may be at “the board level.”

Here’s Abovitz’s statement in full:

As we’ve shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise.

We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.

As the board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.

I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. I am amazed at everything we have built and look forward to everything Magic Leap will create in the decades to come.

I will remain our CEO through the transition and am in discussions with the board with regards to how I will continue to provide strategy and vision from a board level. I remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.

Since its founding in 2011, Magic Leap has amassed over $3 billion in capital from investors such as Google, Saudi Arabia’s Venture Capital Fund, Alibaba, and Axel Springer, making it one of the most well-funded startups in tech history.

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Having launched its Magic Leap One (also stylized ‘Magic Leap 1’) in 2018, various reports suggest the device’s sales numbers were far below the company’s expectations as it uncomfortably straddled between developer and consumer.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

Before pivoting entirely to appeal to the enterprise space in the near-term, Magic Leap was funding a steady stream of consumer-focused apps for the $2,300 headset, a perplexing move at the time considering the company hadn’t released any timeline on when consumers would expect a cheaper headset.

While the company recently announced a Magic Leap 2 in the works—officially slated to launch sometime in 2021— that too will be targeted at enterprise and prosumers, so it may be some time yet until we see Magic Leap re-enter the consumer space.

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  • crix098

    This guy Rony could sell snow to an eskimo. I only wish he had been kicked out years ago. The hype on this device has been nearly criminal!

    • brandon9271

      He said, “change in his role was “a natural next step” In other words, He’s milked them for everything he can and the bullshit train wont carry him any farther. The “Next step” is for them to actually deliver on the promises he’s made while he’s nowhere in sight and laughing all the way to the bank.

      • sfmike

        Well said Brandon. With a net worth now assessed at $4.5 billion it’s time to kick back and enjoy himself as we all drown in a depressed economy. It’s the classic American con.

        • asdf

          yeah cause such a basic con could never have existed before america….. aside from the fact that people used this scheme to make money selling land in america before anyone even went there….

          Your bias and blind hate towards an entire other nation for no reason is showing.

          • brubble

            America breeds this and cultivates this from birth.

        • Hivemind9000

          Well I’m not sure if he’ll get to cash out at that valuation, and I expect they’re not going to last very long at any price. Maybe he’s squeezed a few million out the back door though…

    • Patrick Hogenboom

      Hyped ? Whatever makes you say such a thing ?
      https://youtu.be/w8J5BWL8oJY

      • Kenny Thompson

        Wow. Just wow.

      • Burt Reynolds

        What the hell did I just watch?

    • I wouldn’t say “nearly”.

      And this is nothing more then a conman trying to flee with his loot.

  • Simba

    While I completely understand that the $2300 price point is to recover R&D, the $3 billion in investment *should* somewhat offset that. Two major reasons VR adoption has grown so quickly within the last year is 1) yes – a pandemic resulting in quarantine but also 2) the Oculus Quest selling at $399. Consumers will not pay $2300 for a niche market item – even the Vive at $899 was too much. Price this device to reflect your target market and you won’t have to make these tough decisions. That all being said, sometimes founders get in the way of their own products – in this case, the decision to step down was definitely the right one. Just $0.02 from someone in the field.

  • flamaest

    Good Riddance.

    • Guest

      Wanted: CEO to be fall-guy for worlds largest tech-failure. Massive perks for at least 6 month cash burn. This is not spam, nor a random drunken poster on Friday night. This is real reality!

  • Jetson

    MAGIC LEAP… the MAGICal Lying Extortion Abovitz Program

  • I wonder if he has decided to resign or if it has been the investors kicking him out…

  • The “natural next step” for Magic Leap is indictments for fraud.

    • mirak

      Lol

  • NooYawker

    He will start a new company and he will get a ton of investors again. The world is just that crazy.

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    I seems ‘Prince Zuko’ was right all along :) What a surprise.

  • John Nelson

    Hey that’s right- I’d almost forgotten. Magic Leap is a thing still, right?

  • NotRobot

    Bye bye
    I am fan of optical waveguide tech.
    But now Magic leap should make the glasses more modern looking & less like Gandhian.

  • brubble

    Well my coffers are filled to the brim with gold bullion. Thanks guys its been a good scheme/ride, Im out! Best of luck!”

    (leaves his copy of “Rubes and How to Dupe Them” on the table as he leaves