Facebook’s VP of VR product Hugo Barra is out after some leadership changes at the top of the Oculus organization. He’ll be stepping down into a new role leading global AR/VR partnerships, while Eric Tseng, Facebook’s director of product management, will be replacing Barra with a new title as head of VR product management.
Barra came on in early 2017 after the ouster of Oculus’s existing leadership structure, when then-CEO Brendan Iribe was demoted alongside much of the founding team to lead product-specific verticals. Later that year Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was ousted.
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’s role inside CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inner-circle was soon diminished after longtime executive Andrew Bosworth was placed ahead of him in the org chart leading AR/VR at Facebook in a role that also included other consumer hardware efforts like Portal. Barra’s departure comes as the company prepares to release two of its latest virtual reality products, the Rift S and Quest.
Late last year, Oculus had an internal reorganization that shifted the team to more specialization-focused groups as opposed to product-focused.
It’s unclear what the full scope of Barra’s new role is. Facebook partnered with Xiaomi — where Barra previously led international efforts — to build the Oculus Go and Xiaomi’s Mi VR headset. Facebook’s recent partnership with Lenovo to build the Rift S showcases just how important these hardware partnerships are to the company.
On Tseng’s promotion, a Facebook spokesperson said, “He is the right person to step into this role because of his experience leading product teams at Facebook, and leading the Android product team at Google.”
Alongside this news, Facebook noted that longtime content exec Jason Rubin has seen his role expand as well and has received a new title, VP of Special Gaming Initiatives.