Magic Leap talked a big game, and few were more responsible for fostering a cult of hype and excitement around its vision of the future than the company’s founder and CEO Rony Abovitz. Today, the CEO announced that the company has indeed secured a new bout of funding, but that the company will be attempting to mount a major turnaround without him at the helm.
According to a memo sent to staff, first obtained by Business Insider, Abovitz will continue on with the company through a transition period but that the company has been “actively recruiting candidates” to replace him.
“We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum toward closing key strategic enterprise partnerships,” the staff memo reads. “As the board and I planned, the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise.”
The announcement comes after the augmented reality startup announced substantial layoffs earlier this month and announced that it would be pivoting from developing consumer products to fully focusing on its enterprise business. It was reported earlier this month that Magic Leap had locked down an additional $350 million in funding that would help the startup avoid further layoffs.
The startup has raised billions of venture capital funding under Abovitz’s tenure, but the startup has also undergone plenty of hurdles as they attempted to outdo Apple, Microsoft and Facebook in the race to create a mainstream AR device. Abovitz always seemed to have a consumer focus for his company, so it’s unsurprising that the company’s board would look elsewhere as the company shifts focus to enterprise.