Four years ago in 2012 Palmer Luckey founded Oculus VR alongside Scaleform co-founders Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov, engineer Jack McCauley, Nate Mitchell and Andrew Scott Reisse. Then John Carmack joined from id Software as chief technology officer (CTO) and Michael Abrash joined in 2014 as chief scientist. Now the company has announced a new chief operating officer (COO).
CEO Brendan Iribe has tweeted that the COO of Fitbit, Hans Hartmann has now moved to Oculus VR, replacing founding COO Laird Malamed. The tweet said: “I’m excited to welcome our new COO Hans Hartmann! He brings decades of hardware, manufacturing and supply chain experience to Oculus.”
As for Laird Malamed, Iribe later posted: “Laird’s one of the key leaders and will be taking on a new exec role helping us scale.” No further details have yet been released on Malamed’s new role.
Hartmann’s new posting to Oculus VR might have something to do with the company’s recent woes in regards to the pre-order chaos that has afflicted customers wanting the Oculus Rift. Many have yet to receive their head-mounted displays (HMDs), which launched on 28th March, with some getting new shipment dates stretching into June 2016.
Oculus VR did try to alleviate this by announcing a new offer on Monday, pre-order customers could go into a select number of Best Buy locations from 7th May and buy a headset whilst still receiving their pre-order benefits. This will only help consumers living in the US, and if they’re quick enough as stock is limited. But many saw this as a kick in the teeth to those who’d back the company early, as stock which could be used for pre-orders is being allocated to retail stores.
Hopefully Hartmann will be able to use his experience to address the issues, and VRFocus will keep you updated on further announcements.