One of the most prominent old-guard figures working on the development of Meta Platforms’ metaverse initiative, John Carmack, has left the company after spending almost 10 years working for the firm founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
A report from Business Insider that cited an internal memo revealed some details about the departure of Meta’s consulting Chief Technology Officer a few days ago. Carmack complained about the company’s inefficiencies in pushing forward the changes required to further advance its VR/AR projects.
Carmack’s Comments Resonate at a Point When Meta is Struggling
In response to the leak, Carmack decided to release the full text of his departure memo. He starts by taking the element of surprise off the table as he has commented on many occasions how frustrated he has felt “with how things get done at FB/Meta”.
“We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort. There is no way to sugar coat this”, reads the departure message of one of Meta’s most prominent voices engaged in metaverse-related activities.
According to Carmack, he is “wearied of the fight”, referring to his constant ordeals with the firm’s executives to shape the firm’s advances in the development of more user-friendly and efficient VR technologies.
Interestingly, a big portion of the blame seems to be put onto the top executives at Meta Platforms (META) as reflected by the following comment found in Carmack’s letter:
“It has been a struggle for me. I have a voice at the highest levels here, so it feels like I should be able to move things, but I’m evidently not persuasive enough”. He adds: “I think my influence at the margins has been positive, but it has never been a prime mover”.
Carmack provides some hope that things may not be as bad as he initially made it sound by saying: “VR can bring value to most of the people in the world, and no company is better positioned to do it than Meta. Maybe it actually is possible to get there by just plowing ahead with current practices, but there is plenty of room for improvement”.
Meta’s efforts to bring the metaverse to life have cost the company a lot of money both in terms of equity value and profitability. Thus far in 2022, the stock of META has shed nearly 65% of its value. Meanwhile, during the first nine months of 2022 the company’s Reality Labs unit, the one in charge of developing the metaverse, generated an operating loss of $9.44 billion.
More Information About John Carmack
John Carmack was named the CTO of Oculus back in August 2013, roughly a year before Facebook Inc., acquired the VR headset manufacturer. He remained the firm’s CTO for six years after the acquisition was completed until his role was modified to consulting CTO in 2019 as he preferred to focus on the field of artificial intelligence.
“I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old. I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence”, the tech expert said back then.
Carmack comes to join a growing list of former Oculus members who are no longer with Meta including the co-founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, the firm’s head of product, Nate Mitchell, and its former CEO Brendan Iribe.
Moving forward, he plans to spend all of his time further developing his new AI company – Keen Technologies. In August this year, the company raised $20 million from top venture capitalists and personalities in the tech space including Sequoia and the co-founder of Stripe Patrick Collison.
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