Meta is conducting a major reorganization of the Metaverse department and plans to lay off employees

According to the latest report from The Verge, on the morning of June 18, Meta Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth announced internally that it would conduct a major reorganization of its hardware department, Reality Labs.

Following the reorganization, all Reality Labs teams will be consolidated into two divisions. They are the "Metaverse" department responsible for Quest, Horizon and related technologies, and the "Wearables" department responsible for other hardware work such as Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses.

Before the reorganization, the entire Reality Labs was mainly responsible for Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth.

But after the reorganization, the two newly created departments will be headed by Vishal Shah and Alex Himel respectively. The former is responsible for the "Metaverse" department, and the latter is responsible for the "Wearable Devices" department. Both executives will report directly to Andrew Bosworth.

The reorganization means that some Reality Labs employees will be laid off, The Verge also confirmed the news from multiple sources. However, the specific number of layoffs has not yet been determined, and Meta declined to comment.

However, there is news that the number of layoffs this time will not be large. In the new structure that has been changed, the leadership role is now "redundant" and may need further optimization and adjustment.

In Meta's internal memo, Andrew Bosworth said that Meta's latest smart glasses in collaboration with Ray-Ban were "much more popular than we expected," and mentioned Meta's roadmap for AR glasses products.

The Verge said that Meta is planning to launch a pair of Ray-Ban glasses with a headset, and will launch a matching wristband with a neural interface for controlling the glasses.

At the same time, Meta is also developing a set of extremely expensive holographic display AR glasses, code-named Orion.

The glasses will combine Meta’s XR and AI R&D results. Business Insider also confirmed the news, citing anonymous sources in February this year: "A pair of 'real' AR glasses will be displayed at this year's Meta Connect conference."

Andrew Bosworth emphasized that Meta remains committed to AR and the Metaverse, writing in an internal memo:

We currently have the leading AI device on the market, and we are redoubling our efforts to find strong product-market fit for wearable Meta AI, build a business around it and grow our user base. Seamlessly overlaying digital content onto the physical world remains the goal, but the steps to get there are getting even more exciting.

Just in April this year, Meta announced that its head-mounted display system Horizon OS would be open to third-party hardware manufacturers so that they can manufacture customized hardware and build an MR ecosystem.

After this major structural adjustment, Bosworth made it clear in the memo that he would not give up Horizon. He said Meta is firmly committed to investing in Horizon and said: "This new organizational structure will enable Meta to create a more integrated product experience in terms of hardware, software and experience, and also reduce friction and fragmentation."

Bosworth emphasized: "Organizational structure is not the main factor that determines our success or failure, execution is. But I hope that in this way, we can reduce operational overhead and allow people from different teams to come together and have a more unified perspective. about our customers and how to serve them better.”

The following is the original text of the memo sent internally by Andrew Bosworth, compiled and translated by Ai Faner:

Updates to the RL structure

With Quest 3 bringing MR into the mainstream, we finally feel like all the major components are in place to continue growing our software platform. The best reflection is that we have a long-term plan for the development of software experience in the next two years.

Meanwhile, Ray-Ban Meta glasses are more popular than we expected, which bodes well for our near-term AR roadmap. Coupled with the exciting capabilities of Meta AI, we are seeing more value from the products we are building even before the full AR vision is ready.

As Mark and I discussed IRL, we're seeing the different paths we've taken start to narrow and become clearer. Here are the changes we’re making to recognize and capitalize on this shift.

metaverse

We will bring the team that developed MR into the Metaverse department led by Vishal Shah and realign the architecture to be more horizontally aligned rather than vertically aligned. We are deeply committed to investing in Horizon as the core foundation for our high-quality experiences for social, Horizon OS, and mixed reality and mobile. This new structure will enable us to create a more integrated product experience across hardware, software and experience, reducing friction and fragmentation.

This will also help us deliver a unified platform with the right components and toolchain, making us the first choice for creators and developers developing on the next generation of computing devices. I can't stress enough how important it is for us to get these platform components right, and making progress under our current structure is a challenge. I'm excited to see this all take shape.

Wearable device

We renamed the AR product group led by Alex Himel to the "Wearable Devices" department. We currently have the leading AI device on the market, and we are redoubling our efforts to find strong product-market fit for wearable Meta AI, build a business around it and grow our user base. Seamlessly overlaying digital content onto the physical world remains the goal, but the steps to get there are getting even more exciting.

The accelerating development of artificial intelligence presents tremendous opportunities for the team, which prompted us to reorganize horizontally late last year so that they can respond to these tailwind opportunities more quickly and continue to consolidate product areas into a single entity across wearables. , platform and artificial intelligence in a unified roadmap.

XR technology, equipment and RLBG

As part of this change, we are also moving parts of XR technology that are closely related to our products or platforms into wearables and the Metaverse.

In turn, we will also rethink the interface between devices and XR technology. XR technology will remain our primary team, focusing on developing technologies that are in early stages or too high-risk for product teams, especially technologies that are beneficial to both the Metaverse and wearable devices. We will share more details in a few weeks.

RLBG, led by Dan Reed, will integrate content design into the product group. As for other departments, such as PMM, UXR, analysis and sales departments, they will continue to maintain their current centralized management. However, we will create two new positions, which we call "Business Group Leaders", one for Metaverse and one for Wearables, and they will work with their respective product group leaders to help them across the broad scope of RLBG Coordinate within.

way forward

Organizational structure is not the main factor that determines our success or failure, execution is. But my hope is that this way we can reduce operational overhead and allow people from different teams to come together and get a more unified view of our customers and how to better serve them.

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