After co-founding Oculus and building it up into the VR force it is today, Palmer Luckey left the company back in 2017. At the time, the official word was that Luckey made the choice to step down himself. However, that story changed this week, as he was apparently fired by higher-ups.
Palmer Luckey’s departure from Facebook was announced at the end of March 2017. At the time, a statement from Oculus said that he would be “dearly missed”, while praising his work on kicking off the modern VR revolution. Luckey hasn’t said much about what happened between him and Facebook back then, but in a CNBC interview this week, he did decide to say that he was indeed fired and did not just resign willingly.
“I left because I got fired”, Luckey said. “I wouldn’t have left otherwise”. He later added that he thinks his political group donation had something to do with it.
Palmer Luckey’s final year at Oculus was not short on controversy. At one point, journalists discovered that he had donated $10,000 to a pro-Trump political meme posting group. Aside from that, Luckey was at the centre of a massive lawsuit against Oculus and Facebook, claiming that trade secrets were stolen and NDAs were broken during the development of the Oculus Rift.
While Luckey does feel pushed out of the company he founded, he does not regret selling Oculus to Facebook, saying that it was “the best thing that ever happened to the VR industry”.
KitGuru Says: While Luckey might not be figurehead for VR anymore, he has landed on his feet and now runs a startup developing US military technology. He also chips in on VR topics from time to time and began giving away his own Rift repair kits to those facing audio issues.