John Cormack, co-founder known for ID Software (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Anger, EarthquakeJoined Oculus VR in 2013 before the company was acquired by Meta (then Facebook). Following the acquisition, he served as CTO of the Oculus division before stepping down from that role in 2019. After that, he served as “Consulting CTO” till date. The executive has now resigned from Meta entirely, citing performance issues and a lack of influence at the firm.
In a slightly more detailed Facebook post, Cormack, despite his senior position at the firm, has expressed his frustration at not being able to guide Metta in what he believes is the right way in the shortest possible time. Cormack claims that:
We have ridiculous amounts of people and resources, but we constantly sabotage ourselves and waste effort. There is no way to sugarcoat it. I think our organization is working at half the efficiency that would make me happy. Some may joke and claim we’re doing fine, but others will laugh and say “Half? Ha! I’m on quarterly performance!”
This has been a struggle for me. I have the highest pitch here, so it feels like I should be able to move things along, but I’m clearly not convincing enough. A good portion of the things I complain about eventually change course after a year or two and the evidence piles up, but I never manage to kill the stupid things before they do damage. Could be, or set a direction and actually keep a team on it. This. I think my impact on the margin has been positive, but it’s never been the main mover.
Regardless of his quarrels with Meta leadership and the company’s overall agility, Cormack insists that the MetaQuest 2 VR headset is exactly what he hoped it would be. The former executive indicates that things could have been better if certain decisions had been made at the right time, but seems satisfied with the final product overall.
In terms of what’s next, Cormack will begin working full-time on his startup Can Technologies, which works on artificial general intelligence (AGI). It’s unclear whether Meta will hire someone to fill his role — but it seems unlikely.