Geek

Oculus founder, Rift creator Palmer Luckey leaves company

By Menahem Zen / 2017.03.31
Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey speaks during a Dell dinner at The Venetian Las Vegas on Jan. 7, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Facebook confirmed the founder of Oculus Palmer Luckey is set to leave the company on Friday, March 31. The company released an official statement to confirm his departure.

Oculus spokesperson Tera Randall said in the statement released Thursday, as quoted by CNBC, that Luckey will leave the company per Friday. However, the details of his departure including the terms remains a secret.

“Palmer will be dearly missed. His inventive spirit helped kick-start the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry,” the official statement read, New York Times reported. Luckey leaves the company three after Facebook acquired Oculus in March 2014 for a stunning $3 billion to help Facebook achieve its vision in virtual reality. Facebook also recruited the microcomputer guru and game programming expert Michael Abrash to become chief scientist at Oculus.

Following the acquisition, Oculus and Facebook entangled in a legal controversy with Luckey became the center of legal controversy after ZeniMax Media filed a complaint against Facebook and Oculus. ZeniMax claimed key technology used for Oculus Rift headset was a violation to the ZeniMax's trade secret. In the early days of Oculus, Luckey and co-founder Brendan Iribe worked closely with John Carmack, who was working for id Software, the ZeniMax's subsidiary. Carmack was a programmer for id Software, and he continued his work when he left the company to join Oculus.

Carmack became the CTO of Oculus and developed the key software for Oculus Rift, but ZeniMax claimed the software written by Carmack when he worked for id Software belong to ZeniMax. The company later filed complaint to the U.S. District Court in Texas citing the violation of the non-disclosure agreement between the companies signed by Luckey in 2012.

After three years in court, last month the jury found Oculus breached the non-disclosure agreement. The jury ordered Facebook and Oculus to pay $500 million to ZeniMax Media. Later this month, Carmack filed counter lawsuit claiming he was not paid for his work in the id Software, but for Luckey the lawsuit may be his exit from the company he founded.

Watch the Bloomberg Technology report on Luckey's departure from Facebook below:

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