If the importance of augmented reality and VR hardware to Facebook's future wasn't already clear enough, a shake-up in the executive ranks at the company has made it as clear as smartglasses lenses.
Late Wednesday, Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, who CEO Mark Zuckerberg affectionately refers to as "Shrep," announced that he will transition out of his role to serve as the company's first senior fellow in a part-time capacity.
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Taking his place will be Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, vice-president of VR/AR for Facebook/Oculus. As CTO, he will maintain his oversight over Facebook Reality Labs and Facebook's efforts in AR and VR, with more functional groups aligning with his organization over time.
"Schrep and I have both worked closely with Boz on organizational planning for some time," said Zuckerberg in a statement. "This is all foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse, and I'm excited about the future of this work under Boz's leadership."
In his role as the executive in charge of Facebook's AR/VR, Boz has been the most high-profile executive at Facebook besides Zuckerberg. While Apple keeps its cards close to the vest with regards to its oft-reported yet never confirmed plans for AR hardware, Facebook has been eager to tip its hand, and Boz is often the one to do so.
Moreover, Boz has proven his worth, shipping category-leading products such as Oculus VR headsets and the Portal line of video calling devices.
On the software side, Facebook has gone toe-to-toe with Snapchat in standing up its mobile AR capabilities, driven by its Spark AR platform.
Of course, there's also the Facebook Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses (without AR) that Boz teased via social media before its big launch earlier this month.
Even before his promotion, Boz placed at very high in our NR30 list for 2020. Now, his role at Facebook, and in the AR industry as a whole, looms even larger.