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Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has left Facebook.
The social network, which acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, confirmed the news Thursday with a statement. “Palmer will be dearly missed, ” it reads. “Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best.”
Luckey began developing the early technology for Oculus, a virtual reality headset, while working at USC and later announced a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to build the device. Facebook bought the company before its headset had yet been made public.
Last year during the election, Luckey came under fire when it was revealed that he had donated to a group known for distributing anti-Hillary Clinton memes on the internet. Several developers announced they would pull their support of the Oculus Rift headset after Luckey’s donation became public.
Luckey apologized on Facebook, writing that he was “deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.” But he has kept a low profile since then. And when Facebook announced in December that Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe would step down from the position in a company-wide reorganization, the company did not give specifics on Luckey’s role aside from confirming that he continued to work at Oculus.
Luckey did testify in January during a trial for a lawsuit ZeniMax Media brought against Oculus over whether he had stolen ZeniMax IP to develop Oculus. Facebook was ordered in February to pay ZeniMax $500 million to cover the damages.
UploadVR first reported the news of Luckey’s departure from Facebook.
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