Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz reportedly stepping down at AR startup


Rony Abovitz is leaving his post as CEO of augmented reality startup Magic Leap.

Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired

Magic Leap co-founder and CEO Rony Abovitz reportedly informed employees at the augmented reality startup on Thursday that he’s stepping down from the company’s helm. He also told employees that the company has secured a new round of funding, according to a memo obtained by Business Insider.

Abovitz plans to stay with the company during a transition period but noted that the company has been “actively recruiting candidates” to replace him.

Magic Leap didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abovitz’s departure comes after reports that the mysterious maker of augmented reality glasses was considering strategic options that include selling itself. The startup was working with an advisor to explore options such as forming a partnership or selling a stake in the company ahead of a potential listing, Bloomberg reported in March, citing unidentified sources.

Founded in 2011, Google-funded Magic Leap has spent $2.3 billion creating its AR glasses and after years of skepticism that the startup might be building the world’s best funded vaporware, it finally released its headset in the fall of 2018.  The Magic Leap One glasses, which launched with a hefty price tag of $2,295, feature displays, audio and external camera sensors.

However, the company reportedly sold just 6,000 virtual reality headsets in the six months after launching the product — far behind Abovitz’s goal of selling 100,000 Magic Leap One devices in that period.

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