Above: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, in the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset as Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe looks on. / Image Credit: Oculus VR
Two pieces of information from Facebook sources have given us new insight into the division of labor inside the social media giant.
Words spoken by Oculus team’s head of PC VR Brendan Iribe and a passage from Facebook’s quarterly report indicate more than five percent of the company’s total workforce are devoted to virtual reality in some capacity.
This week, Facebook filed its quarterly report. In that report is a figure relating to the company’s size and how it has grown over the last year. According to the report, “headcount was 18,770 as of March 31, 2017, an increase of 38 percent year-over-year.”
Facebook declines to comment on the size of its individual teams as a matter of policy. However, this week Iribe was a featured speaker at Unity’s Vision Summit in Los Angeles. There he was asked to address why he stepped down as the CEO of Oculus.
By way of an answer, Iribe made the following remarks concerning Oculus’ growth following its acquisition by Facebook in 2014:
“When we shook hands with Mark we were 60 people…And we got to a point where we were over a thousand people. Along that path I started to spend most of my time managing the org and a lot of time on recruiting these thousand people.”
Iribe did not say specifically how far over 1,000 employees the VR team has grown to, however, that means at least 5.3 percent of Facebook’s total workforce is working on mixed reality technology.
We have reached out to Facebook directly to see if it can shine any more light on the specific number of employees it has working on VR and AR technology. We will update this article if we receive any new information.