Oculus loses another key figure in VR effort


Max Cohen, head of Oculus’ AR/VR media product division, has left the company.

Stephen Shankland/The Techy Trends

Oculus has apparently lost its second major player in the course of just a week. Max Cohen, an early staffer and most recently the head of the Facebook-owned company’s AR/VR media product unit, has left the company, Variety reported Tuesday.

Cohen started at the virtual reality startup in 2014, two years after its founding and the same year Facebook purchased Oculus for $3 billion. During his tenure, Cohen also led the company’s Gear VR program with Samsung and its development of its Oculus Go headset, according to his LinkedIn profile. His profile indicates he left Oculus this month, and it now lists his occupation as “explorer.”

Cohen’s departure comes a week after Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell announced he was stepping down. Mitchell was the last Oculus co-founder still at Facebook.

Virtual reality promises to transport goggle-wearing users to a computer-generated 3D environment, but widespread adoption has been elusive. Without a gotta-see-it experience compelling them to try the unfamiliar format, consumers have resisted pouring hundreds of dollars into a souped-up computer and a high-end headset like Facebook’s Oculus Rift.

The Oculus team at Facebook has also grappled with a number of woes, including a lawsuit and executive turnover, as it tries to make VR more mainstream. Facebook bought Oculus because it envisions a future in which Facebookers will be able to share moments with their friends and family as if they’re all together in person. 

Facebook declined to comment.