Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell announces Facebook departure

Oculus’s Nate Mitchell announced on Thursday that he is leaving Facebook, making him the latest original founder of a Facebook-acquired company to make an exit.

“Hey everyone—I have some bittersweet news to share with this community. After seven incredible years, I’ve decided to move on from Oculus / Facebook,” he announced in a reddit post.

Mitchell went to reflect on how far Oculus came since its 2012 Kickstarter campaign and his excitement at where Facebook was taking the technology. However, while conveying his gratitude, said that he would be “taking time to travel, be with family, and recharge.”

“Of course,” he continued, “I’ll still be part of this community, but I’ll have a much smaller role to play.”

Mitchell follows his Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe, who left Facebook in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

While it is reported that Facebook is still actively seeking a replacement to lead development, a spokesperson did tell reporters that Mitchell’s departure “doesn’t impact [the company’s] roadmap or future plans.”

Mitchell’s decision, which comes to just one month ahead of the company’s Oculus Connect 6 virtual reality developers conference, may appear sudden but it follows the trend of recent years in which the original founders of Facebook-owned companies step away.

Instagram’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned in 2018 around the same time that Whatsapp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton left, voicing concerns about data privacy and Facebook overreach.