John Carmack, known for co-founding id Software (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Rage, Quake), joined Oculus VR back in 2013 before the company was acquired by Meta (Facebook at that time). After the acquisition, he served as CTO for the Oculus division before stepping down from this role in 2019. After that, he served as a "Consulting CTO" until today. The executive has now resigned from Meta altogether, citing efficiency issues and lack of influence at the firm.
In a somewhat detailed Facebook post, Carmack has described his frustration at not being able to guide Meta to what he believes is the right path within the minimum amount of time, despite his senior position at the firm. Carmack claims that:
We have a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort. There is no way to sugar coat this; I think our organization is operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy. Some may scoff and contend we are doing just fine, but others will laugh and say “Half? Ha! I’m at quarter efficiency!”
It has been a struggle for me. I have a voice at the highest levels here, so it feels like I should be able to move things, but I’m evidently not persuasive enough. A good fraction of the things I complain about eventually turn my way after a year or two passes and evidence piles up, but I have never been able to kill stupid things before they cause damage, or set a direction and have a team actually stick to it. I think my influence at the margins has been positive, but it has never been a prime mover.
Regardless of his quarrels with the Meta leadership and the overall agility of the company, Carmack has emphasized that the Meta Quest 2 VR headset is exactly what he had hoped it would be. The former executive does hint that things might have been even better if certain decisions had been taken at the right time, but seems satisfied with the final product overall.
In terms of what's next, Carmack will resume working full-time on his own startup Keen Technologies, which works on artificial general intelligence (AGI). It's unclear right now if Meta will hire someone to fill his role - but it seems unlikely.
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