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Controversial Oculus Cofounder Quits Facebook's Virtual Reality Company

By Donna Bellevue , Mar 31, 2017 04:20 AM EDT
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The controversial co-founder of virtual reality gear maker Oculus is leaving Facebook after a controversial political row that has garnered huge amounts of backlash from the public. Palmer Luckey's position at Facebook has been in question since September when it was revealed that he secretly funded a group that supported President Trump. Not only that, the group he bankrolls also was outed to be responsible for posting anti-Hillary Clinton memes.

The revelation stirred turmoil within VR group headed by the social media giant. Consequently, it became the main reason for multiple female employees to hand in their resignation. Lucky, 24, did express at the time that he was "deeply sorry" for his actions that have smeared the public's perception of Oculus and its partners.

It's worthy to note that Luckey's leadership in Facebook's Oculus product was also questioned. It was not just his controversial political campaign against Hillary Clinton that put the nail in his coffin. According to the USA Today, his VR product was criticized by tech observers to be way behind rival headset HTC Vive.

When asked whether Luckey had resigned or was fired, the social network's spokesperson Tera Randall declined to comment. However, she confirmed that this is Luckey's last week at Oculus. In a statement, Mark Zuckerberg's social media company did say that “Palmer will be dearly missed” while acknowledging his role in kick-starting the modern VR revolution.

According to the Business Insider, the Oculus co-founder sold to Facebook the virtual reality startup for $2 billion in 2014. He is credited with inventing the earliest version of the startup's headset that impressed Mark Zuckerberg. Luckey, who could not be reached for a comment, made his final public appearance in January to testify in a lawsuit filed by gaming company ZeniMax, which won a $500 million judgment.

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