Rony Abovitz, the founder and CEO of Magic Leap, is stepping down as the head of the augmented reality (ar) startup. The news comes amid a major restructuring at the Plantation, Florida-based company.
Here are the details:
- In a blog post, Abovitz wrote that Magic Leap is actively searching for a new CEO. He will remain in his position throughout the transition.
- Last month, the company announced that it would lay off 1,000 employees — around half its workforce — as it outlined a pivot from consumer to enterprise products. Abovitz ascribed the change to disruption caused by the coronavirus. Cartoon Brew reported an exclusive story about the loss of between 80–120 animation jobs.
- Magic Leap spent years secretively developed its flagship product, the much-hyped Magic Leap One ar headset. The $2,300 kit was unveiled in 2017 and marketed as an entertainment system for the general public, but sales fell short of expectations.
- In 2018, Business Insider reported that the company’s efforts to miniaturize its technology and bring its product to market was costing it $50 million per month.
- Abovitz has led Magic Leap since founding it in 2011. Over the years, he amassed around $3 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase. That includes another $350 million this month as it started to restructure.
Read Abovitz’s full post below:
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.