© Magic Leap
Magic Leap is supposed to go on sale in 2018.
Magic Leap is supposed to launch its highly anticipated “mixed reality” headset soon. But the guy who’s in charge of marketing that headset to the world is leaving the company.
Jeff Gattis, the company’s VP of product marketing, who also oversees product management, has left Magic Leap after more than two and a half years there, Recodehas learned. A company spokesperson confirmed Gattis’s departure, and said only that it was “for personal reasons.”
It’s hard to quantify how much hype has been built around Magic Leap. The company has been showing off snippets of what its augmented reality glasses can do for years, and last December it finally unveiled the glasses themselves. They’re still not available to the public, though the company says they’re due out later this year. When CEO Rony Abovitz spoke at our Code Media conference six months ago, he didn’t demo the glasses on stage.
Gattis’s departure, then, is interesting. While Magic Leap’s technology will play a big role — perhaps the largest — in its eventual success or failure, marketing will also matter. Most people have not adopted VR headsets and have no idea whether they’ll want AR or not — especially from a company they barely know.
Gattis describes his role at Magic Leap on his LinkedIn profile as leading “the Product Marketing discipline with responsibility for product definition, customer segmentation, and go to market strategy.” He has a history of helping launch big tech products. Before Magic Leap, Gattis ran marketing for HTC’s “connected products” division, including its virtual reality headset, the Vive. Before that, Gattis worked at Microsoft, where he helped launch the Microsoft Surface, according to his LinkedIn profile.
It’s not the first time Magic Leap has had turnover at the top ranks of its marketing team. The company dealt with considerable turnover in marketing in late 2016, shortly after bringing in current CMO Brenda Freeman. You can read an interview with Freeman here.