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Oculus VR Hires Former Valve, Google Employees

Following its acquisition by social networking giant Facebook last year, Oculus VR went on something of a hiring spree. In the months that followed the announcement the company managed to take on board high-profile developers and engineers such as Valve’s Michael Abrash and former THQ CEO and Naughty Dog founder Jason Rubin. The company has been quieter on the hiring front in 2015, however, but has this week welcomed two new people into the fold.

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First up is Mary Lou Jepsen, the engineer behind the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop and leader of Google’s ‘moonshot’ display projects. Her specific position hasn’t been announced but, given her work in display technology, it could well be that Jepsen will focus on improving screens within the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD).

“Virtual reality has been seen as a niche product for the wealthy,” Jepsen said of her appointment. “Like One Laptop Per Child’s vision of computers for the poorest children, we imagine VR as an enabling technology, a platform for mass adoption, for women and men, adults and children, rich and poor, everywhere.”

The second hire is Anna Sweet, another Valve employee to make the jump to the VR specialist, even with the announcement of Valve’s own HMD, Vive. Sweet joins Oculus VR as Head of Developer Strategy, having previously led Steam software and hardware programmes.

“The first time I put on a VR headset, I knew it was the next thing I wanted to work on — it was the same feeling I had when my parents bought me a Tandy when I was a kid,” said Sweet. “The ways in which VR can impact our lives is boundless, and I’m extremely excited to work with the world class team at Oculus to build the VR platforms and experiences that will shape the future of technology. I look forward to helping support and enable partners and developers across many industries to be a part of that.”

Oculus VR is currently gearing up to show its latest work to the world at E3 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow the company closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.