Meta’s turn away from social media and into virtual reality has another catch. One of the company executives, John Carmac, who helped build Meta’s Oculus business as Chief Technology Officer steps away from Meta amid frustration with company efficiency.
Carmack stepped into the role of CTO for Oculus (now called Reality Labs) in 2013 and is stepping down after nearly a decade, having served as advisory CTO since 2019. , he shared an internal memo within the company that was leaked to the press. Carmack shared the entire memo (with one edit). his Facebook account on fridaynight. In the letter, Carmack describes how he is pleased with the technology Oculus has produced, but unhappy with the way the company is being run.
“The problem is our efficiency,” Carmack wrote in the letter. He explained: “We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we are constantly sabotaging ourselves and wasting effort. There’s no way to sugarcoat this; I think our organization is operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy.”
Meta did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment on Carmack’s departure.
Carmack, in a follow-up section, explains the internal friction that even he, as a top executive, felt as he tried to steer the company in a more proactive direction:
It’s been a struggle for me. I have a top-level voice here, so it feels like I should be able to move things around, but apparently I’m not convincing enough. A lot of the things I complain about eventually turn my way after a year or two of passes and the evidence piles up, but I’ve never been able to kill stupid things before they do damage, or set a direction and a team actually stick to it. I think my influence has been positive on the margins, but it’s never been a prime move.
Metas Head technology, Andrew Bosworth, responded to Carmack’s letter on Twitterciting: “[John], it is impossible to overstate the impact you have had on our work and the industry as a whole. Your technical prowess is well known, but it is your relentless focus on creating value for people we will remember most. Thank you and see you in VR.”
Carmack’s departure comes as Meta faces an ongoing identity crisis, caught in purgatory between her VR ventures and her social media past. As the company increasingly tries to pivot to VR, the future of the Metaverse keep looking for a bit chilly (and generally ugly).