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Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz Steps Down Citing ‘Focused’ Direction

Rony Abovitz is stepping down from the CEO role at Magic Leap after raising more than $2 billion and subsequently laying off a large segment of the workforce.

A statement posted to the company website confirms the transition:

As we’ve shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise.

We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.

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. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.

I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. I am amazed at everything we have built and look forward to everything Magic Leap will create in the decades to come.

I will remain our CEO through the transition and am in discussions with the Board with regards to how I will continue to provide strategy and vision from a Board level. I remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.

The word “focus” used three times in the statement points to the changing reality for the AR startup which regularly raised hundreds of millions of dollars under Abovitz and hired hundreds of people on promises of fundamentally new display technology for augmented reality.

In recent months, though, the company switched to a focus on business uses after reports of slow sales for its first generation AR system, the Magic Leap One.

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