Palmer Luckey sold Oculus to Facebook three years ago for over $2 billion, and now he’s walking away from the company following half a year of controversy. Luckey co-founded Oculus and has always been the public face of the company, helping with the early prototypes, and even hand-delivering the first consumer kit to a pre-order purchaser in Alaska.
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Just after the headset has celebrated its first year on sale, tomorrow marks his last day at the company, according to a statement released by Facebook:
“Palmer will be dearly missed. 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.”
UploadVR say they asked if Luckey’s departure was voluntary, to which Facebook declined to comment due to their internal policies.
Things got rough for Luckey towards the end of 2016, when it was uncovered that he’d been funding a Reddit hate campaign against Hillary Clinton. As you can see in the update at that link, even members of the Oculus diversity team were dismayed at their co-founder’s links to such an alt-right group. Many developers also threatened to pull support for the headset.
The next time we saw Luckey in the public eye he was stood in court, his company accused of stealing trade secrets. That case ended with ZeniMax suing Oculus for $500 million, with proof that Luckey and his co-defendants breached an NDA.