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  • 01.26.17

Oculus’s new boss appears to be a newcomer to VR industry

A lot of attention was paid to Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement late Wednesday that he’d hired former Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra to be vice president of virtual reality at Facebook and to, in Barra’s own words, “lead the Oculus team.” Barra is a well-known and respected name in tech circles, and his hiring marks his return from China to Silicon Valley, where he was previously an Android vice president at Google.

From this viewpoint, it’s pretty interesting that despite Barra’s tech chops, he appears to have little-to-no formal experience in the virtual reality industry. In a comment on Zuckerberg’s initial post about the hiring, Barra wrote that “It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction. Now we’re taking selfies in virtual worlds.” Oculus did not comment when I asked what the rationale was for hiring a leader for the Facebook VR division who has no professional experience in the field. 

DT