Oculus Appoints New Chief Operating Officer, Founding COO Taking On New Role

Oculus VR’s CEO, Brendan Iribe, announced that his company has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer. Hans Hartmann will be leaving FitBit, where he is currently COO, to take on the same role at Oculus.

Perhaps as a response to its rocky product launch, Oculus has decided to make some changes at the top of the executive chain.

Oculus has been under fire recently for delayed shipments to pre-order holders. Many customers who placed their names in the hat in the first few minutes of the pre-order window in January are still waiting to receive their hardware, more than a month after the first shipments started. As if to rub salt in the wound, Oculus will start selling Rift hardware at retail and other online locations this week.

A quick look at Hartmann’s LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab) reveals that the executive has had a long history of handling product development and supply chain operations. He oversees both of these aspects of Fitbit's business and manages the company’s customer support systems. Hartmann has held VP and SVP of Operations titles at various companies since 1995, and he worked for IBM for 15 years prior in various management roles. Oculus has been having trouble delivering the product it promised, but Hartmann appears to just the man to turn that around.

Iribe said that Oculus’ founding COO, Laird Malamed, will not be leaving the company. Malamed will take on a “new executive role,” where he will aid Oculus in meeting the demand for consumer VR. 

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • Moe_tastic
    That's a funny way of saying "we F****D up". HTC beat them to the punch and already a couple of steps ahead. Oculus has been in development for years, they delayed their customers, and surprised everyone with the price tag. Thumbs up HTC
    Reply
  • cptnjarhead
    Moe, to say that Valve beat Oculus to the punch, is a little inaccurate. Valve had been working in-house for years on VR, but never intended to release it to the public. They did have meetings with Oculus to work together, but things fell through. Many Valve VR project people went to Oculus, some were just let go. As for Distribution, Oculus definitely dropped the ball on that, along with the price reveal. Also, Valve had the money for R&D, Oculus was a kickstarter company, wasn't until Facebook's purchase and cash infusion, things started to come to fruition
    Reply
  • Joe Black
    Stil cpt... I feel Oculus got themselves sidetracked along the way and maybe should have focused less on the audio and the brand new screens and more on their controllers and positioning themselves as the people's champion. I would be very surprised if Open Source VR does not fill that niche soon and where will Oculus be then? Less than admirable launch as a first gen uber premium product, some retail coming. Meantime enthusiasts will start printing their own VR headset chassis and making modifications with OSVR kits. Vive will definitely remain a solid premium product with a good track record. With Vive on Steam and all and checking al the right boxes.

    There's a poll on trustedreviews that show that the 67% of people prefer the vive. Of course I expect the majority of those might be people without first hand experience. Still... It is a figure that matters.
    Reply
  • Moe_tastic
    That's a funny way of saying "we F****D up". HTC beat them to the punch and already a couple of steps ahead. Thumbs up HTC
    Reply
  • Moe_tastic
    Moe, to say that Valve beat Oculus to the punch, is a little inaccurate. Valve had been working in-house for years on VR, but never intended to release it to the public. They did have meetings with Oculus to work together, but things fell through. Many Valve VR project people went to Oculus, some were just let go. As for Distribution, Oculus definitely dropped the ball on that, along with the price reveal. Also, Valve had the money for R&D, Oculus was a kickstarter company, wasn't until Facebook's purchase and cash infusion, things started to come to fruition

    This is what always happens a lot of crowd funding projects. Take the Ouya for example, in the end their project when down the toilet. Although both in concept were not impossible to achieve with current technological breakthroughs. That's what mostly pisses me of, simple idea that should be delivered on time and with reasonable cost, but devs get cocky and try to make things complicated and end up increasing the cost for extra costs on development that shouldn't happen. I was excited for the oculus rift at first and then things went downhill for them after demos and trials stopped and everything went silent, that is when i knew they're bound to fail.

    sorry for the long post. I ain't got no potatoes since am at work :P
    Reply
  • cptnjarhead
    Moe, Valve had been developing there in-house VR for awhile, but said that they would not be making it available to the public. But when they met with Oculus, things fell through. Many people left Valve to work for Oculus, and some were let go, they ended up other places. To say Valve beat them to the punch is not quite accurate. Distribution on the other hand was mishandled by Oculus for sure.
    Reply