Oculus’s Brendan Iribe Is the Latest Founder to Flee Facebook

Brendan Iribe speaks at F8, Facebook’s developer conference, in 2015. Photo: CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe announced that he’s leaving the company today, six years after helping found the company, and four years after Oculus was bought by Facebook for $2 billion.

Iribe announced the news in a personal post on Facebook. “After six incredible years, I am moving on. I’m deeply proud and grateful for all that we’ve done together. We assembled one of the greatest research and engineering teams in history, delivered the first step of true virtual presence with Oculus Rift and Touch, and inspired an entirely new industry,” he wrote. “This will be the first real break I’ve taken in over 20 years. It’s time to recharge, reflect and be creative. I’m excited for the next chapter.”

Iribe was never the public face of Oculus — that job fell to Palmer Luckey, the boy wonder was on the cover of Time and was later forced out of Oculus, reportedly for finding himself wrapped up on political controversy. Iribe served as CEO of Oculus until 2016, when the role of CEO at Oculus was eliminated and the position of vice-president of VR was created and given to Google and Facebook veteran Hugo Barra.

Iribe is the latest founder of an acquired company to leave Facebook, following shortly after the sudden departure of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram. The quality of life of being an acquired company at Facebook has come under scrutiny as of late, with WhatsApp founder Brian Acton giving a scathing interview about life at the company to Forbes in September.

Beyond Iribe’s desire for a vacation and the chance to “be creative” again, there’s no clear reason for his departure. It’s possible that under terms of the Oculus acquisition, four years was the schedule for his stock options to fully vest, and once that happened, he decided that it was time to leave. Regardless, there seems to be something in the water at Menlo Park — founders of companies that get acquired by the social-media giant don’t seem to like sticking around.

Oculus’ Brendan Iribe Is the Latest Founder to Flee Facebook