Magic Leap CEO to step down

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Confirmation of an unspecified amount of new funding, key strategic enterprise partnerships are close, and chief executive officer Rony Abovitz is stepping down—it has been a busy week at Magic Leap

Quick read

➨ Magic Leap has secured an unspecified amount of new funding and is close to securing “key strategic enterprise partnerships”
➨ Abovitz will remain as chief executive officer until his successor is in place
➨ He is in discussions to secure a new role at board level

The story

Magic Leap chief executive officer Rony Abovitz is stepping down from his role as head of the struggling spatial computing company.

In a statement issued yesterday, Abovitz confirmed that the spatial computing company had secured an unspecified amount of new funding and is close to securing “key strategic enterprise partnerships”, although he made no mention of the futures of the 1,000 members of staff tipped to be laid off.

On the decision for him to step down, Abovitz said that he and the board can come to the decision that Magic Leap’s move into the enterprise market required new leadership.

He explained: “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 commercialise 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.”

“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.”

Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap

Abovitz will remain as chief executive officer until his successor is in place. He is in discussions to secure a new role at board level.

“I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage),” Abovitz said. “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 remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.”

Abovitz’s announcement follows the launch of XR training and education specialist EON Reality’s flagship AVR Platform on the Magic Leap World app store.

Magic Leap has made some progress in building out its spatial computing platform for enterprise use, striking partnerships with Spatial for remote collaboration, as well as Arvizio, Immersion Analytics, Immersiv, Nomtek, Minsar, Obsess, PTC, RoOomy, Spatiate, Taqtile, Verses and VIM.

But enterprise orders for Magic Leap 1, despite the launch of a new dedicated bundle late last year, have not come as quickly as the spatial computing company might have hoped.

In April, the company said it was planning to lay off a portion of its workforce in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in a bid to restructure and complete its pivot toward the enterprise market.

As many as 1,000 Magic Leap employees faced losing their jobs, but confirmation that the company has secured fresh capital from investors and is close to signing deals with enterprise prospects could indicate that at least some of its people will stay in post.

Image: Magic Leap 1
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