Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus and the original creator of the Rift headset has left Facebook, Oculus confirmed in a statement given to UploadVR. Luckey will officially leave the company today, a representative of Facebook said, adding that the entrepreneur will be missed by everyone at Oculus. The spokesperson declined to detail the circumstances leading to Luckey's departure from Facebook, citing an internal policy preventing them from discussing matters related to the company's personnel.
The possibility of Luckey's departure from Facebook initially came up following last year's revelation that the 24-year-old donated $10,000 to Nimble America, a far-right organization supporting then-candidate Donald Trump during 2016 U.S. presidential election. Following harsh criticism from the tech industry that mostly leaned towards Hilary Clinton and Nimble America's dubious M.O., the entrepreneur later took to social media to publicly apologize for his actions and stated the aforementioned donation wasn't a reflection of his political stances and isn't meant to represent Oculus, adding that he primarily donated money because he liked the inventive methods Nimble America was employing to reach out to young voters. Luckey was later absent from the annual Oculus Connect conference in late 2016 which he personally hosted in previous years because he reportedly didn't want to distract from the contents of the event following previous controversies. This January, Luckey made his first public appearance in four months to defend Oculus and himself against allegations that they stole intellectual property from ZeniMax. While cleared of most charges in the case, he was found guilty of breaching a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for which the Facebook-owned company was ordered to pay a $500 million fine.
The aforementioned ruling that Facebook's subsidiary was hit with might have been the last straw that ended Luckey's career at the company he sold to the Menlo Park-based social media giant for $2 billion in 2014. While his departure likely won't impact day-to-day operations at Oculus seeing how he hasn't been the public face of the company since the aforementioned donation to Nimble America came to light last year, it remains to be seen how Oculus will now fare under the leadership of Hugo Barra who joined the firm from Xiaomi in late January.